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Japan lending P30b for LRT 1

JAPAN agreed to provide a P30-billion loan to finance the acquisition of coaches for the Light Rail Transit Line 1 extension to Cavite, the Transportation Department announced Thursday night. Transportation Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla said the government was set to sign the P30-billion loan agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency for the LRT Line extension to Cavite project on March 15. Lotilla told reporters the P30-billion loan would fund the acquisition of new light rail vehicles for the expanded LRT line. The Cavite extension project, which is estimated to cost P60 billion, involves the construction of tracks, stations and all its attendant facilities, as well as the operation and maintenance and purchase of coaches. Once completed, the new line will increase ridership of LRT Line 1 from 500,000 to 700,000 passengers a day. The government said earlier it would finance half or P30 billion of the total project cost through official development assistance loans. The Transportation Department earlier prequalified four bidders—DMCI Holdings Inc., Light Rail Manila Consortium, SMC Infra Resources Inc. and MTD Samsung Consortium—and their respective entities. The Cavite extension project, which the National Economic and Development Authority approved in March last year, will increase the span of Line 1 from 20.7 kilometers to 32.4 kilometers and will have a new south endpoint in Niog, Bacoor, Cavite. The existing Line 1 system serves about 488,000 passengers daily, with highest recorded passenger volume at 659,000. It has 20 stations that traverse the cities of Caloocan, Manila, Makati and Parañaque. The 20.7-km system has a loop time of 106 minutes and has access to Lines 2 (Blue line) and 3 (Yellow line). The new component includes operation and maintenance of depot, electrical and mechanical system, rolling stock, station, track, and other related assets. The project involves building eight passenger stations with a provision for two additional stations, one satellite depot and three intermodal facilities. The passenger stations will include the Redemptorist station on Redemptorist Road near Roxas Boulevard; MIA station near the Coastal Mall along Roxas Boulevard; Asia World station near Asia World Development (Roxas Boulevard); Ninoy Aquino station on the east side of Ninoy Aquino bridge over the Parañaque River; Dr. Santos station, south of Dr. Santos Road; Las Piñas station, east of Quirino Avenue and south of Las Piñas River; Zapote station, north of the Alabang-Zapote flyover; Niyog station, south of the Niyog Road bypass; and Aguinaldo Highway intersection. Two provisional stations in Manuyo Uno in Las Piñas City and Talaba in Cavite, were also proposed.
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