Monorail MRT4 Set to Be Fully Operational by 2028

The Metro Rail Transit Line 4 (MRT 4), which will connect Metro Manila to the province of Rizal, will have a monorail design, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), as reported by Inquirer

Running on a single rail, the train will carry fewer passengers than bigger light rail transit systems. However, the monorail requires less space, an ideal build for densely developed areas. According to DOTr, these types of train systems often serve as feeder lines providing support for higher capacity modes of public transportation.

The MRT-4 will have the following stations:

  • N. Domingo
  • Bonny Serrano
  • Greenhills
  • Edsa
  • Manila Electric Co.
  • Tiendesitas
  • Rosario
  • St. Joseph
  • Cainta
  • San Juan
  • Tikling Junction
  • North Manila Road
  • Taytay

From Quezon City to Taytay, travel time will be reduced to 27 minutes. The project is expected to decongest traffic jams and solve the limited road capacities in eastern Metro Manila. 

Once fully operational in 2028, the new railway system will accommodate about 4,500 passengers during peak hours and 2,678 passengers during off-peak hours. It will provide 73,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction and after the completion of the project.

Contract Signing

The department and Spain-based design consultant IDOM Consulting Engineering, Architecture, SA, (IDOM) signed the P1.4 billion contract for the detailed architectural and engineering design of the project last October 1, 2021, as mentioned in this Manila Bulletin report. The entire project cost is pegged at P58.9 billion.

Under the contract, IDOM will be responsible for the railway’s preliminary design, detailed engineering and tender designs, loan processing documents, financial and economical assessments, project and loan safeguards documents, and bidding documents.

The design stage of the project will be in the 4th quarter of 2021, while the start of early works is projected to be in the second quarter of 2022.

Property Investment Opportunities

With MRT-4 facilitating improved connectivity in eastern Metro Manila, property values are expected to increase in the region in the next few years. A few cities in the area have already emerged as popular real estate hotspots even amid the pandemic. 

Antipolo, one of the cities that will benefit from the proposed railway system, was among the most searched cities in Luzon, outside Metro Manila in the first quarter of the year, Lamudi’s The Outlook Quarterly showed. The city recently saw the opening of a new station of the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2). The hub is located in front of SM Masinag. 

Transit-oriented cities will be more popular, especially with the reopening of offices amid the continued vaccination drives. In a separate Lamudi report, Rental Market Landscape: On-site Housing, Remote Work, and Transit-oriented Spaces, the experts forecast that the return to the workplace will fuel a stronger demand specifically for rental spaces close to mass transit hubs, including train systems. Ortigas Avenue, for one, currently serviced by the MRT-3 line and the MRT-4 soon, was largely a rental market from the first quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of 2021.

Rail Projects in the Pipeline

As the pandemic highlighted the need for mobility, railway construction projects all over the country are being fast-tracked. The North-South Commuter Railway Extension Project, for one, started construction last September, according to Manila Times. The railway system’s north extension stretches from Malolos, Bulacan to Clark International Airport, while the south runs from Solis, Manila to Calamba, Laguna. 

The extension project has three phases. Phase 1, connecting Tutuban and Malolos, is expected to cut travel time from the current one and a half hours to only 35 minutes. Phase 2, also known as the Malolos-Clark segment, will reduce travel time to half an hour from one and a half hours. The last phase of the project, Phase 3, connects Blumentritt and Calamba.

Phases 1 and 2 will be fully operational by 2024, as mentioned in this Manila Standard report. Similar to MRT-4, the project is set to stimulate property demand and economic growth in the region it serves, especially Central Luzon.

The Metro Manila Subway Project is likewise moving along, with the DOTr announcing that the excavation activities will start in the first quarter of 2022, Business World reported last September. The P356.97-billion project has a total of 17 stations connecting different cities in the capital region, namely Pasig, Makati, Taguig, Parañaque, Pasay and Quezon City. Travel time from Quezon City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) will be reduced to 35 minutes.

Sources: Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, Manila Times, Manila Standard, Business World

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