What was once a grand plan to construct what could have been considered Manila’s first true “Grand Central Station (GCS)” near SM City North EDSA Mall has stalled and thousands of LRT-MRT riders who were the intended beneficiaries of the plan are now hopefully waiting for the promised change that we yearn for from the new gov’t of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.
It’s interesting to note that the “re-positioning” stance (that totally scrapped the originally-approved integration plan) of the DOTC occurred during former Sec. Jun Abaya’s term under the Aquino administration. I’m quoting Inquirer columnist Mr. Conrado R. Banal III, who aptly summed-up the (still pending) case of the proposed Grand Central Station:
“It was rather common sense for the technical people hired by LRTA to locate the station at the SM mall, because there they could connect all three lines—LRT-1 and MRT-3, plus MRT-7—rather seamlessly.
The location at Trinoma would exclude the MRT-7 station, for example, and the commuters thus would have to walk a long way (more than 600 meters) in what was supposed to be a “common” station during rush hours when the station would be bursting with humanity.”
Let’s accept the fact that the most logical choice for the GCS location landed at SM City North EDSA’s doorstep. I understand Ayala Malls’ lobbying to get the proposed Grand Central Station re-positioned to its Trinoma Mall’s doorstep, but how such a concept can come to fruition in spite of its impracticability can only mean one thing – a party’s or parties’ business interests won over the welfare of the greater majority of the riding public.
To Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and to Sec. Arthur Tugade: please consider above all the interests of the riding public in making a decision whether to junk or reinstate the original proposed plan of 2009, which was clearly the most logical choice as shown in the original and new plans’ layouts and in Mr. Banal III’s argument.
To the SM Group of Companies and Ayala Malls: please do everything possible to have the original plan expedited and implemented so that the majority of LRT-MRT riders can finally realize the convenience of having an integrated rail system.