Thursday, 16 July 2009

SM Group to inject funds into Manila's Grand Central Terminal construction

Darwin G. Amojelar
Manila Times

The shopping mall unit of the SM group will be injecting funds into the construction of the Grand Central Terminal for the three mass rail transits (MRT) near SM North EDSA, a source said.

According to the source, the Sy family-led SM Prime Holdings Inc. has offered P200 million to partly finance the terminal.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board has approved the Metro Manila Integrated Rail Terminal (MMIRT) project on Tuesday with the understanding that the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) would accept SM Prime’s offer.

This will cut the government’s original capital outlay for the project to P578 million from P778 million, the source added.

“The station shall be named the SM-TriNoma station as a condition in the P200-million donation of SM and TriNoma financing and construction of pedestrian walkway from TriNoma to SM,” the source said.

The MMIRT aims to provide a common terminal for easy passenger transfer between

Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT 3) and Line 7 (MRT 7). This will also connect passengers to the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT 1), which is being extended from its Monumento terminal.

The source said Mel Robles, LRTA administrator assured President Gloria Arroyo that the agency plans to complete the station and LRT Line 1 North extension by December 2009 from the earlier target of May 2010.

The LRT 1 North Extension Project has original four stations namely, Monumento, Balintawak, Roosevelt and North Avenue.

The Balintawak station will provide modal interchange with bus and jeepney services entering Metro Manila from the north via the North Luzon Expressway.

Once the extension is complete, the LRT 1 is expected to serve about 800,000 to 1 million passengers.

The LRT 1 North Extension Project, which aims to close the EDSA Loop, will need three additional stations from the existing Monumento Station and ending at the North Avenue Station of MRT 3.

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