The construction works of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT1) Cavite Extension in the Philippines has started, nearly five years after the project was awarded to the Light Rail Manila (LRMC).

Commencement of works was attended by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade along with other officials.

A major railway project under the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ programme, the PHP65bn ($1.25bn) project will extend railway services from Baclaran to Niog in Bacoor, Cavite.

The 11.7km-long extension will increase the total length of the LRT1 to 32.4km. It will comprise eight stations and is estimated to reduce the journey time between Baclaran and Bacoor from 70 minutes to 25 minutes.

“The 11.7km-long extension will increase the total length of the LRT1 to 32.4km.”

The extension project was awarded to LRMC in 2014. LRMC is a joint venture company of Metro Pacific Light Rail (MPLRC), AC Infrastructure Holdings (AC Infra) and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines).

Once the extension is operational, the entire LRT-1 line will have 28 stations and will be used by around 800,000 passengers per day, nearly double its current 458,000 daily ridership.

Among the new stations, three intermodal road-rail facilities will be integrated to assist transfer from the LRT-1 to road-based vehicles.

Secretary Arthur Tugade stated that the government aims to start partial operations for the first five stations of the LRT1 Cavite extension by the last quarter of 2021.

At the event, a mock-up of the 4th generation light rail vehicle (LRV) was also unveiled.

The LRT1 Cavite extension project was first approved in 2000, followed by approval of the implementing agreement in 2002. Pre-construction activities were commenced in 2017.