PROPOSALS for a fourth light rail line in Manila were formally approved by the Philippines’ Investment Co-ordination Committee on March 6, clearing the way for the Department of Transport & Communications to invite private sector bids for the US$690m project.
Line 4 would be a fully-elevated 15·1 km link from Line 1 at Dreto Jose to Batasan in the northern suburb of Quezon City. Originally proposed last year as a build-lease-transfer project by a consortium of Alaya Land, Javlon International, Bouygues and Sofretu, the line is now expected to be built under a build-transfer-operate agreement to reduce the government’s risk.
President Fidel V Ramos has asked DoTC to progress upgrading of Line 1 and construction of the 14 km Line 2 from Old Bilibid to Katipunan for completion by 1999. The existing Line 1 fleet will be converted from two- to three-car trains, and 13 new four-car sets will be bought: seven for Line 1 and six for Line 2. Work on the 16·8 km Line 3 (EDSA) is being progressed as a BLT venture by the private-sector Metro Rail Transit Corp, which hopes to have its 73 LRVs in traffic by the end of 1998. Plans for Lines 5 and 6, running southeast and south from the centre, are being drawn up. o