Metro Manila, July 15, 2003 (Star) President Arroyo formally launched yesterday the Strong Republic Transit System (SRTS) that will provide an unending interconnection of the railway system in Metro Manila as part of the administration’s thrust of decongesting the traffic in the metropolis.

Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza and Secretary for Priority Programs Marta Jimenez accompanied the President in the inauguration of the SRTS at the EDSA MRT station near Taft Avenue in Pasay City.

The President said that Strong Republic Transit System is composed of five lines and seven interconnections with a single ticketing system. The five lines will include Yellow Line for Rizal to Taft; Blue Line for EDSA; Purple Line for Aurora to Magsaysay; Orange Lines for Southrail and Green Line for Northrail.

She said that the SRTS project includes the rehabilitation of the old line like Light Rail Transit line 1 and the Philippine National Railways, the completion of the LRT line 3 and the physical integration of the different railway lines through the construction of seven links or interconnection facilities like covered walkways with escalators.

The seven links include: the Pasay link which would provide interconnection between EDSA MRT and LRT line 1; the Cubao link where the Mega Tren (LRT line 2) will be linked to MRT; the Recto link which would link the Mega Tren (LRT line 2) to LRT line 1; the Caloocan link, linking LRT line 1 to MRT; the Blumentritt link, which links the LRT line 1 to the PNR; the Sta. Mesa Link which would link the Mega Tren (LRT line 2) to PNR and the Magallanes Link, which would link the MRT to PNR.

In a related development, the President turned over a P300-million check to the National Housing Authority to finally start the relocation of some 70,000 squatter families whose homes would have to give way to railway tracks as part of the interconnection project in Malinta, Valenzuela.

She gave the check to National Housing Authority General Manager Edgar Pamintuan, who said the amount represents the first tranche of the P500 million committed by the Pag-IBIG Fund to the resettlement project.– Marichu Villanueva

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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