SMC to start partial operations of MRT-7 in 2021

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will open parts of Metro Rail Transit-7 (MRT-7) by 2021 after San Miguel Corp. has completed 45 percent of the project.

DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said by end of 2021, the first station of the MRT-7, North Avenue station, up to the Sacred Heart station in Caloocan City would be partially operational.

The project will run fully from North Avenue station up to San Jose del Monte station in Bulacan by 2022.

Conti said the 23-kilometer rail transit system would cut travel time from North Avenue to San Jose del Monte from four hours to only 34 minutes and has the capacity to serve 500,000 daily passengers.

During a tour of the construction of an MRT-7 station at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, SMC MRT-7 Inc. (SMC MRT-7) Infrastructure Technical head Norberto Conti said the civil works, such as the construction of stations, guideway works, the foundation works, of the project was 37.49 percent complete.

The project’s rolling stock and train cars and rails were 53.09 percent complete, Conti said.

Conti noted that all 108 cars, equivalent to 36 trainsets of the project,have been fully completed by its South Korean contractor.

In his welcome remarks, Batan lauded the SMC MRT-7 for its “work on all workable areas” approach that means construction of the project continues even through setbacks such as right-of-way issues.

“Ginagamit po talaga natin example itong proyektong ito, itong MRT-7, sa iba po naming contractors. Na bakit hindi niyo gayahin yung approach na ginagawa sa MRT-7?” Batan said.

He contrasted SMC’s strategy to the traditional approach of other concessionaires that wait until all deliverables of the government were done before beginning the construction.

“Meron kaming deliverables, meron deliverables yung concessionaire, yung contractor namin. Hintayan po hanggang matapos lahat ngdeliverables. Habang naghihintayan, hindi po umuusad yung proyekto,” Batan said.

The DOTr also toured the members of the media at the Quezon City Memorial Circle station, Quezon City common station and the LRT-2 Emerald station on Marcos Highway in Cainta, Rizal.

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