LRT-2 commuters going to Pasig, Marikina, and Antipolo can now enjoy a more comfortable, convenient, and faster travel as President Rodrigo Duterte, together with Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade, inaugurated the LRT-2 East Extension project on 01 July 2021.
Also opened were two additional LRT-2 stations – the Marikina-Pasig and Antipolo stations – which will enable the rail line to accommodate an additional 80,000 passengers. Daily ridership was increased to 320,000 passengers from the previous 240,000 passengers. The rail extension line also cuts the usual three-hour road travel time from Recto, Manila to Masinag, Antipolo to just 30-40 minutes.
President Duterte commended the efforts of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), under the leadership of Secretary Tugade, and its key private sector partners for the completion of the project despite difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Your efforts and determination show that the government stops at nothing to carry on its mandate, to serve the people’s interest no matter the circumstances,” he said.
“I’ve been saying this over again, I have been redundant about it. This guy [Sec. Tugade] is our valedictorian in law school. Alam ko talaga this guy is marunong, kaya ito ang unang pinakiusapan ko sa journey ko as President. Sila ni Secretary [Mark] Villar ‘yung nag-perform exceedingly well and I thank them. I am really grateful for their services, these are my idol sa gobyerno,” the President shared.
During the ceremony, the President asked Secretary Tugade to give commuters free rides for the first two weeks of the extended line's operations.
On Monday, 05 July 2021, when the extended line opens, passengers from Santolan to Antipolo and vice versa, will ride for free.
Secretary Tugade said the project’s completion has impact on the lives of daily commuters, especially students going to Manila's university belt.
"Ito 'ho 'yung isang alignment ng tren na kung saan ang malaking makikinabang ay ang mga mag-aaral. Kasi po, Mr. President, ito 'hong LRT-2 extension ay babaybay at dadaan sa sa tinatawag natin na University District sa Claro M. Recto. Bago nag-pandemya ang mga estudyante na sumasakay dito sa LRT-2 ay 40% ng total ridership, mga 80,000,” Secretary Tugade said.
“Malaking bagay 'ho ito, sasabihin ko lang kung mararapatin. 'Pag nagbiyahe ka sa C.M. Recto papuntang Antipolo, by land – between 3 to 4 hours. With the LRT Extension, magiging 30 minutes na lang po 'yan. Ang ibig sabihin, maraming oras na mabibigay sa pamilya, pag-aaral at oras sa ating pagnenegosyo,” Tugade added.
Meanwhile, Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Administrator Gen. Reynaldo Berroya, for his part, said the project fulfills the government's promise to provide commuters with a safe, reliable and efficient mode of transportation.
He added that the LRT-2 East Extension project also took more than two decades before it was realized.
“The need to extend the LRT-2 existing system to Antipolo was seen two decades ago through a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The nod was given in 2012 by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) leading to a groundbreaking ceremony held in June 2015 followed by groundbreaking ceremonies in June 2017, and April 2019 for its Packages 2 and 3,” Gen. Berroya pointed out.
On Monday, 05 July, commuters will board a shuttle train that will take them from the line's Antipolo Station to the Santolan Station, and vice versa.
During the line's shuttle operations for the next two weeks, passengers will board at the Antipolo Station or at the Marikina-Pasig Station and alight at the Santolan Station.
From the Santolan Station, passengers will transfer to another train that will take them to the Recto Station (and vice versa).
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