Global development body lauds improvement in LRT ops

MANILA An official of International Finance Corporation (IFC), a global development institution and a member of the World Bank Group, has lauded the improvement in the operations of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1).

IFC Chief Executive Officer Philippe Le Houerou recently visited the country to assess the LRT-1's operations and maintenance, as well as its Cavite Extension Project.

Le Houerou commended rail operator Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) for its successful rehabilitation of the first generation trains of the LRT-1.

So these are good quality trains. They look good and it's very clean, he said.

Meanwhile, LRMC president and CEO Juan Alfonso said the visit was an opportunity to showcase the improvements in the LRT-1 as a result of its partnership with the government.

This is in line with our policy on transparency and commitment in ensuring the right strategy for the LRT-1 Cavite Extension project and other improvement programs for the train line. The occasion was a good opportunity for us to show how we have improved the riding experience of our passengers. These are direct effects of the successful PPP program of the Philippine government working with the IFC, Alfonso said in a statement on Monday.

Since taking over the LRT on 2015, the LRMC has implemented measures, which resulted in the improvement of its operations - as well as ensured the orderliness and cleanliness of all its trains and stations, which currently serve an average of 500,000 passengers daily.

The company was able to increase the number of operating trains from 77 to 112, increase the number of daily trips from 505 to 554 and extended its operating hours to serve more passengers and reduce queuing time in stations and trains.

These efforts resulted to increased passenger capacity, improved customer satisfaction, and the achievement of ISO certifications for quality management and environmental management all unprecedented milestones in the 34-year history of Manila's oldest light rail system, the LRMC said.

The LRMC is constructing the first phase of the LRT-1 Extension project which covers the Redemptorist, Manila International Airport (MIA), Asiaworld, Ninoy Aquino, and Dr. A. Santos stations.

The LRT-1 extension is projected to reduce travel time from Baclaran to Bacoor by 30 minutes from the current one and a half hours during rush hours. It will consist of eight new stations Redemptorist, NAIA Avenue, Asia World, Ninoy Aquino, Dr. Santos, Las Pinas, Zapote, and Niog which are expected to serve around 700,000 to 800,000 passengers once it is completed by 2021.

The IFC was engaged by then the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) to design the concession agreement and help select the private concessionaire for the LRT-1 Cavite Extension project.

LRMC is a consortium put up by Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Ayala Corp., and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings and took over the operations and management of LRT-1 in September 2015. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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