A dream

The Freeman - - OPINION -

Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe has signed an agree­ment to fi­nance the first sub­way sys­tem in the coun­try. The plan is to have a train from Min­danao Av­enue un­til the Food Ter­mi­nal in Taguig. It is ex­pected to be op­er­a­tional in 2027, where an es­ti­mated 500,000 pas­sen­gers a day would be served. No men­tion yet as to who will build the sub­way. I’m hop­ing a Ja­panese con­trac­tor would take the lead.

This will be a mon­u­men­tal project if it ever gets off the ground, or un­der­ground. It is dif­fi­cult to dig un­der­ground, in ad­di­tion to the prob­lems that are sure to hound en­gi­neers when they start dig­ging. It is im­por­tant to first study the type of soil that will be dug up. For ex­am­ple, in Que­zon City where adobe is com­mon, it may be harder to dig. There is also the risk of un­ex­ploded bombs from the last World War. Con­trac­tors are still find­ing un­ex­ploded bombs, some even re­sult­ing in deaths. These are just some of the prob­lems that can hound the con­struc­tion.

How­ever, if the sub­way is com­pleted, it will greatly help ev­ery­one. Fer­ry­ing half a mil­lion pas­sen­gers per day will surely de­con­gest traf­fic. I have long dreamt of hav­ing an ef­fi­cient sub­way sys­tem in Metro Manila, like the sys­tems in Hong Kong, Sin­ga­pore and Ja­pan. In Hong Kong, they have an ex­cel­lent sub­way sys­tem. You know when the next train will ar­rive while wait­ing at the sta­tion. Al­most ev­ery place in Hong Kong is ac­ces­si­ble by sub­way. The maps and routes are easy to un­der­stand. You do not re­ally need a car. In fact, I be­lieve it is even dis­cour­aged by high fuel prices and scarcity of park­ing spa­ces. If this sys­tem can be repli­cated in Metro Manila, there is no need to bring a car. Imag­ine trav­el­ling from Que­zon City to Makati in less than thirty minutes, maybe even faster.

It is easy to sign an agree­ment. What is dif­fi­cult is get­ting to start the project. Once un­der way, it will def­i­nitely cause some in­con­ve­niences, just like when the fly­overs were con­structed, as well as the LRT/MRT lines. But when the project is com­plete, it will change the face of the metro, as long as the trains are run and main­tained in the same man­ner and ef­fi­ciency as those in Hong Kong and Ja­pan. If it be­comes an­other MRT, then God help us.

But when the project is com­plete, it will change

the face of the metro, as long as the trains are run and main­tained in the same man­ner

and ef­fi­ciency as those in Hong Kong and Ja­pan.

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