Makati Subway Project: An Answered Prayer?

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The $3.5 billion Makati City Subway is expected to decongest traffic and improve the commute within the CBD by 2025. Is this nothing but a pipe dream, or should we feel excited?

Business World reported on July 31, 2019, the signing of a 50-year deal for the Makati Subway in development. According to the article, the signed contract is a joined venture between Philippine Infradev Holdings, Inc. and the city government of Makati. 

The Philippines is one of the countries in Asia that has the worst traffic. This does not bode well for any of us, and the Filipino community learned that the hard way. Apparently, the cries of the Metro did not fall on deaf ears, as NCR is bound to enjoy considerably cleaner and healthier air in the years ahead—once its first two subway trains become operational.

What is the Makati City Subway project?

This $3.5 billion development will be known as the Makati City Subway or MkTr. It is a 10-kilometer intra-city subway system, set to become the first of its kind in the Philippines. The subway will have up to 12 air-conditioned, underground island stations and would connect the following key points in Makati:

  • Central Business District at the corner of Ayala and Sen. Gil Puyat Avenues
  • Circuit City
  • Makati City Hall
  • Century City-Rockwell Center
  • University of Makati
  • Ospital ng Makati

It is expected to cater to more than 700,000 commuters per day or 27,000 every hour in each direction. As of late, the project eyes accommodation of up to six car trains with a capacity of 200 persons each car. According to the Makati government, there will be 12 trains during the first year of operation, with intervals of three to six minutes. The future target is to have 18 trains with intervals of 2 to 4 minutes.

Who are the people behind the Makati Subway?

The Makati City government and Philippine Infradev Holdings Inc. sealed a joint venture agreement for the $3.5 billion project which is, so far, the biggest public-private partnership project for a local government unit. In undertaking the development, Philippine Infradev partnered with Chinese companies Greenland Holdings Group, Jiangsu Provincial Construction Group Co. Ltd., Holdings Ltd., and China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. The Public-Private Partnership Project (PPP) was approved last July 19, which sought to construct, operate, and manage the intra-city subway.

When will the MkTr be operational?

Construction of the railway system began last December 2018. The tunnel boring machine—the main workhorse to be used in constructing the subway system—is scheduled to arrive in December 2019. All things considered, the developers are targeting for the MkTr to be fully operational by 2025.

How will commuters benefit from the MkTr?

The Makati Subway will improve the commute of the average Filipino worker immensely. Gone will be the days of long UV lines under the sweltering Philippine heat, the crowded MRT and LRT trains that take all the energy out of you, and the alarms set for 4 AM just so you can get to work on time at 8 AM. Not only will the MkTr make it easier to get around Makati, but it will also lessen the number of people along the highways—ideally decreasing the number of private vehicles on the road and improving traffic. This project will directly benefit some 500,000 residents and five million workers who commute to and from Makati every day. Collectively, it is set to improve the PH economy.

Besides this, building and operating the Makati Subway system alone will require about 6,000 jobs and opportunities for small to medium businesses. It will also raise the values of real estate investments in Makati. Land values are estimated to increase by around 20%.  On top of that, the subway will be a breath of fresh air to those living the city life. 

The Makati City government expects this development to help lower carbon dioxide emissions by 2.3 million tons in 2048.

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