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.