MAKATI Mayor Abby Binay was expected to lead yesterday the ceremonial drilling in front of the old City Hall Building, which would signify the start of preparatory works on the city’s subway project, the Makati Public Rail Transport (M-PRT).
Prior to this, the mayor unveiled a scale model of the intra-city subway project at the ground floor of Makati City Hall I (main building). Both ceremonies were witnessed by city officials, employees, guests from the private sector, and members of the media.
Mayor Abby expressed her full commitment to the completion of the project by 2023, which she considered a “very valuable legacy” that would benefit Makatizens for generations to come.
“I believe the Makati Subway will be a very valuable legacy, and I am fully committed to its timely completion and operation. It will make a lasting positive impact on the lives of our residents, and contribute significantly to the city’s sustainable development and economic growth,” Mayor Abby said.
The mayor said the intra-city subway system is already expected to create around 6,000 new jobs during its construction and when it starts operations in about five years. With an efficient transport system in place, there will be more jobs and business opportunities created, she added.
The Makati PRT, the first of its kind in the country, will be a joint venture between Makati City and a consortium of local and foreign investors, with no cash out on the part of the city. The 30-year concession with the consortium includes maintenance and repair of the coaches and the control hub.
Once completed, the Makati PRT will be able to service up to 27,000 passengers per hour per direction. The system also promises an interval of three to six minutes between trains in the first year, with 12 operational trains.
The PRT system will have two tracks, up to 10 underground stations, and air-conditioned coaches which can accommodate 200 persons per car. The entire system spans 10 kilometers with a train yard, maintenance depot, and central command center at ground level.
The stations will have at least 30 station entrances linked to destinations across Makati, which will spur the growth of small and medium businesses. It will also be linked to ferry transport, interchanges to the existing MRT 3 line, as well as potential links to the future Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-funded Metro Manila subway, and to future parking structures and transport feeders outside the existing business districts.
By 2024, Makati City is eyeing to have 18 trains with a two to four-minute interval. The City is also prepared to accommodate as many as 40,500 passengers per hour during peak hours. The train system will run on an 18-hour operational cycle.
The PRT is also expected to make a positive impact on neighboring cities as it will help decongest traffic, particularly in major thoroughfares used by millions of commuters and motorists daily in coming to work in Makati.
The subway system is also expected to increase work productivity by cutting down the daily commute or travel time of workers. According to JICA’s congestion valuations, the Philippines will gain at least US$600 million annually in GDP just for enhanced productivity.
Interestingly, the project will allow for an additional 320,000 residents in Makati City. Besides enjoying a walkable city with considerably less pollution, residents will also enjoy 20 percent higher land values because of the new transport system. The figure was based on the experience of other Asian cities like Bangkok and Hong Kong.
More importantly, a reliable, comfortable, and highly-efficient mass transport system will result in less traffic congestion and parking woes in the country’s premier financial district. Feasibility studies project 270,000 fewer cars in the streets of Makati by 2048. This makes the PRT a more eco-friendly and sustainable solution as well, with a projected reduction of 2.3 million tons of CO2 annually in greenhouse gas emission by 2048.