MANILA’s Light Rail Transit Administration confirmed on August 21 that construction had resumed on metro Line 2. Work had been delayed for several years by land acquisition problems, which were finally settled on July 31. The line is now expected to open for revenue service in the third quarter of 2003.

Costed at 24bn pesos, Line 2 will run for 14 km from Recto to Santolan, interchanging with the existing light rail Lines 1 and 3. The line is being funded from a Japanese backed 20-year loan, and work has largely been awarded to Japanese contractors. Sumitomo has the contract for the depot, the Hanjin-Itochu joint venture is responsible for the viaduct and stations, and Marubeni was awarded the systems contract covering vehicles, track, signalling and power supplies.

On September 6 the French arm of Thales e-Transactions, formerly Alcatel CGA Transport, confirmed that it had been selected to supply magnetic-stripe fare collection equipment which will be installed on Line 2 by Singapore Technologies Electronics. Alcatel had previously supplied the ticketing equipment for Line 1 under a 1996 contract from LRTA. The Line 2 deal covers 250 gates, 30 booking office machines, and 80 ticket vending machines.