By Cai Ordinario, February 12 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Business Mirror

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it is preparing new rail-based projects for Metro Manila, as well as bridges, among others, to address congestion in the megacity.

In an e-mail to the BusinessMirror on Monday, ADB Southeast Asia Department Director for Transportation and Communications Hiroaki Yamaguchi said these efforts will replace the $500-million Metro Manila Transport Project Phase 1.

Based on the ADB web site, the Metro Manila Transport Project Phase 1 was classified as “dropped/terminated.” However, Yamaguchi clarified that the project has not been dropped or terminated at all as indicated in the web site but has instead been split into several projects.

“The urban transport problem in Manila requires several approaches/projects continuously. There will never be one project to resolve the problem,” Yamaguchi said.

“Technical assistance is also being provided to [the] DOTr [Department of Transportation] to support with identifying solutions to Metro Manila traffic,” he added.

The decision to split the Metro Manila Transport Project came on the heels of ADB’s aim to ease traffic congestion in the National Capital Region (NCR) and promote livable cities.

Yamaguchi said in this regard, two Metro Manila transport projects are scheduled for delivery in 2019. This includes the Metro Manila bridges, as well as a series of elevated pedestrian greenways along Edsa, to create modern and safe walkways.

“ADB is also continuing discussions with the government on additional projects to assist with decongesting Metro Manila,” Yamaguchi said.

The Metro Manila Transport Project Phase 1 was initially aimed to address the key issue of high cost of transport across Manila and more specifically on the major transport corridor of the Edsa by reducing travel time and increasing passenger throughput.

The project aimed to improve connectivity between different transport modes and the surroundings areas, as well as the ability of the government to manage and operate the various transport systems that run along Edsa in a more efficient and effective way.

The $500-million loan amount earmarked by ADB for the project was initially allocated for the improvement of major transport modes along Edsa.

This includes the Metro Rail Transit Line 3, buses and private vehicles, as well as to improve pedestrian facilities.