By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter
THE planned demonstration and partial operability for San Miguel Corp.’s (SMC) Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) will no longer push through, an official from the Department of Transportation (DoTr) said.
Instead, the DoTr is now targeting full operations of MRT-7 by the second quarter of 2025.
“The demonstration is no longer feasible because they will have to finish the construction of the depot,” DoTr Project Management Service (PMS) Director Eduardo D. Mangalili told BusinessWorld on Monday.
Under former DoTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, the department wanted partial operability of the MRT-7 this year.
“So far, there is no more partial operation target,” Mr. Mangalili said, adding that what is being targeted now is to have the MRT-7 start full operations by the second quarter of 2025.
The MRT-7 will run from North Avenue, Quezon City to San Jose del Monte in Bulacan.
Mr. Mangalili said the depot in San Jose del Monte will have to be completed first because that is where the power will come from.
The DoTr official said the MRT-7 project is now 60.35% complete and that the stations in Tandang Sora, Don Antonio, Batasan, and Manggahan in Quezon City will be finished by June this year.
“San Miguel is trying to catch up, together with the construction of the depot and based on the schedule, they were given 12-15 months, and then they can accommodate the operation,” he added.
The P63-billion project has three major components: a 24.7-kilometer (km) mass rail transit system with 14 stations from North Avenue to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan; an intermodal transportation terminal that will serve as a transportation hub catering to other types of public transportation; and a 19-km highway from San Jose del Monte to Bocaue, Bulacan.
A total of 36 trainsets or 108 cars acquired by SMC from South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem will be used for the railway system.
The project, which started construction in August 2016, is expected to accommodate up to 850,000 passengers daily and cut travel time between Quezon City and Bulacan from four hours to 34 minutes.
The MRT-7 will also connect to the existing Light Rail Transit Line 1 and MRT-3 to improve accessibility throughout the capital region and the nearby growth corridor of Bulacan province.