MANILA, Philippines – The Mandaluyong City government has received clearance from the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to build its own rail line, which will connect the city hall complex to the EDSA-bound Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and the Ortigas business district, an official said yesterday.
Councilor Roehl Bacar, chairman of the city council’s committee on engineering and public works, said the city government received a letter dated June 30 from DOTC Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla.
“This is to confirm that the DOTC favorably endorses the Automated People Mover (APM)project of the city government of Mandaluyong for the improvement of the urban environment and is willing to extend its support and collaboration,” Lotilla said in his letter.
Bacar – who said he has been directed by Mayor Benjamin Abalos Jr. to spearhead the project – said the city government is coordinating with the Japanese government’s ministry of economy, trade and industry for further technical and feasibility studies.
Japanese gov’t assistance
He added that the city government is likely to get an overseas development assistance (ODA) loan to finance the construction of the rail project.
“The technical assistance is to be proposed and submitted by this month. Feasibility might take less than a year,” Bacar told The STAR.
He said since this would be an ODA-funded project, it would be tied to a “Japanese contractor. The biddings would not be handled by the local government or selected by the principal.” He added that this would mean a faster bidding process.
Bacar said the APM is different from the “monorail” system, which is being proposed by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority as a public rail line transport in Bonifacio Global City to connect the emerging central business district with the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals.
“It’s a radial wheel-based technology. With a concrete guideway and signaling similar to trains except it’s using rubber tires,” he said.
Compared to the MRT and Light Rail Transit coaches, APM coaches are smaller, more flexible, can be coupled up to six cars, has a higher passenger capacity and can accommodate up to 90 to 100 passengers per car. Vehicles can operate up to a speed of 80 kilometers per hour.
Under the plan, the APM will have a vertical depot on top of the current Mandaluyong city hall, and will run through to Shaw Boulevard, cross at-grade through EDSA onto the rising Greenfield business district, and turn right to the heart of the Ortigas business district with a station at the San Miguel Corp. headquarters on San Miguel Avenue, and then right to SM Megamall.
He pointed out that the APM can be extended straight to Shaw Boulevard, either westward into Manila or eastward into Pasig and Quezon City and to Marikina, even the cities of Cainta and Antipolo.
Written by Rainier Allan Ronda