The Light Rail Transit (LRT)-2 East Extension starts operating Monday, July 5, and commuters get free rides for the first two weeks of the extended line’s operations, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Friday, (July 2) announced.

President Rodrigo Duterte, together with Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade, Thursday, (July 1) inaugurated the railway line.

The DOTr and the Light Rail Transit Authority also opened 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 DOTr for the completing 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 remarked.

The project’s will have a huge impact on the lives of daily commuters, especially students going to Manila’s university belt, according to Tugade.

The line passes through the University District at Claro M. Recto. Before the pandemic, students accounted for 40 percent of LRT 2’s total ridership of 80,000 commuters per day.

The LRT-2 East Extension project took more than two decades before it was realized, noted Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Administrator Gen. Reynaldo Berroya.

“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),” he explained.

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.

On Monday, July 5, 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.

Source: Manila Bulletin (