The two stations of the $62-million East Extension of the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) will start serving train commuters from Marikina and Antipolo City beginning 26 April.
Transportation chief Arthur Tugade disclosed this during the special episode of Daily Tribune’s Straight Talk Saturday.
The four-kilometer LRT-2 extension features two stations after the existing Santolan Station: Emerald Station — which lies along Marcos Highway and adjacent to the Gil Fernando and Felix Avenues and the Masinag Station — situated near Sumulong Highway in Antipolo City.
West-bound commuters from Antipolo, Marikina, and other parts of Rizal province currently take jeepneys or shuttles to LRT-2’s Santolan Station. This adds to the perennial traffic along Marcos Highway.
But with the LRT-2 East Extension, at least 80,000 passengers will be served in addition to LRT-2’s current 240,000 daily ridership.
This will reduce travel time from Recto to Masinag to 40 minutes compared to the three-hour bus or jeepney ride.
The LRT-2 currently connects Recto Avenue in Manila to Santolan in Marikina.
In February 2019, the government awarded the contract to the joint venture between Japan-based firm Marubeni Corporation and DM Consunji Inc. (DMCI) for the track installation works and electromechanical systems (EMS), which formed Package 3 of the LRT East Extension Project.
Package 1, which involves the construction of a viaduct, was completed in March 2017, while Package 2 involved the construction of Emerald and Masinag stations.
The Santolan, Katipunan, and Anonas stations of LRT-2 resumed operations on Friday, 22 January, a year after it closed down due to a fire caused by a power rectifier that tripped.
Operations at the three stations were originally due to resume in October last year but the strict virus lockdown disrupted power system repairs.