The Light Rail Transit Line 1, commonly referred to as LRT Line 1 or LRT-1, is a rapid transit system line in Metro Manila, Philippines, operated by Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) and owned by the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) as part of the Manila Light Rail Transit System. Currently, the line consists of 20 stations and runs on 19.65 kilometers (12.21 mi) of fully elevated route.
It travels in a general north–south direction from Baclaran to Monumento, and then east–west from Monumento to Roosevelt. The line links the cities of Quezon City, Caloocan, Manila, Pasay, and Parañaque. Passengers may transfer to the LRT Line 2 at Doroteo Jose and to the MRT Line 3 at EDSA.
A 1977 study conducted by Freeman Fox and Associates suggested a street-level railway in Manila but the government revised this recommendation to an elevated system. On July 12, 1980, President Ferdinand Marcos created the LRTA and construction of the line began the following year. With the opening of its first segment on December 1, 1984, it became the first rapid transit service in Southeast Asia.
Originally referred to as Metrorail and the Yellow Line, LRT Line 1 was reclassified to be the Green Line in 2012. Future plans include an eight-station southbound extension into the province of Cavite by 2027 (with partial operations in 2024) and an eventual extension to the North Triangle Common Station which will provide additional connections to MRT Line 3, MRT Line 7 and the Metro Manila Subway.
The line is predominantly aligned to the path of Taft Avenue (Radial Road 2) which was chosen largely due to its straight course. Later on, as Taft Avenue ends, it shifts to Rizal Avenue and Rizal Avenue Extension (Radial Road 9) then turning right on EDSA before ending at the corner of North and West Avenues and EDSA.
The line serves 20 stations along its route. A twenty-first station is yet to be constructed. Eight stations which are part of the LRT Line 1 South extension are also set to be constructed south of Baclaran. A previously proposed station, Malvar station in Caloocan was proposed during the construction of the northern extension located between Monumento and Balintawak stations, becoming a bargaining object during the entire extension line's construction in the jurisdiction of Caloocan. However, the planned Malvar Station was completely shelved by the Aquino administration.
In September 2020, Roosevelt station was temporarily closed to give way for the construction of the North Triangle Common Station. During this closure, the tracks extending eastward from Roosevelt station would have to be realigned in order to provide the necessary connection to the Common Station.
- North Triangle Common Station - Quezon City
- Roosevelt (Existing terminus) - Quezon City
- Balintawak - Quezon City
- Monumento - Caloocan
- 5th Avenue - Caloocan
- R. Papa - Manila
- Abad Santos - Manila
- Blumentritt - Manila
- Tayuman - Manila
- Bambang - Manila
- Doroteo Jose - Manila
- Carriedo - Manila
- Central Terminal - Manila
- United Nations - Manila
- Pedro Gil - Manila
- Quirino - Manila
- Vito Cruz - Manila
- Gil Puyat - Pasay
- Libertad - Pasay
- EDSA via Taft Avenue - Pasay
- Baclaran (Existing terminus) - Pasay
- Redemptorist - Parañaque
- Manila International Airport - Parañaque
- Asia World - Parañaque
- Ninoy Aquino - Parañaque
- Dr. Santos - Parañaque
- Las Piñas
- Zapote - Bacoor
- Niog - Bacoor
HISTORY OF LRT-1
In 1977, the results of a fourteen-month study conducted by Freeman Fox and Associates and funded by the World Bank recommended the construction of a street-level light rail line in Manila. Following a review by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, later the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the proposal was revised to an elevated railway in order to avoid building over the city's many intersections. This raised the project's cost from ₱1.5 billion to ₱2 billion.
An alignment along Rizal and Taft avenues, which spanned from Monumento, Caloocan in the north to Baclaran, Pasay in the south, was selected because it followed a relatively straight path for most of its route.
On July 12, 1980, President Ferdinand Marcos created the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) and assigned First Lady and Governor of Metro Manila Imelda Marcos as its chairman. While the LRTA confined its roles to policy making, fare regulation, and future planning, the line's operations were assigned to Metro, Inc., a sister company of Meralco. The line came to be referred to as Metrorail.
The Belgian Government granted a ₱300 million soft and interest-free loan for the project's construction, with a repayment period of 30 years. Additional funding was later sourced from a ₱700 million loan, provided by a Belgian consortium consisting of ACEC, La Brugeoise et Nivelles, Tractionnel Engineering International, and Transurb Consult.
The consortium also supplied the line's first light rail vehicles, power control, signalling, and telecommunications, as well as provided training and technical assistance. Designed as a public utility rather than a profit center, the line was expected to incur a deficit through 1993, but complete its repayments within a period of 20 years.
Construction and opening
The government-owned Construction Development Corporation of the Philippines was the project's sole contractor. In 1981, an economic recession and the government's inability to provide counterpart funds for civil works and right-of-way acquisition, which amounted to 60 percent of the project's total cost, led to a delay in construction. Work finally began in September of that year along Taft Avenue, between Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) and Libertad Street.
In order to make way for Carriedo station and a segment of tracks approaching the Pasig River, a department store and a classroom building owned by FEATI University were demolished. The southern section, between the Baclaran to United Nations stations, was inaugurated on September 11, 1984, and commercial operation along this section commenced on December 1.
The line was extended from Central Terminal to Monumento on May 12, 1985, and subsequently became fully operational on May 13, 1985. During the first several years, two-car trains that could accommodate up to 748 passengers were utilized. This amounted to a capacity of 20,000 passengers per direction.
The line's North Extension is a 5.4-kilometer (3.4 mi) extension of LRT-1 to the North Triangle Common Station which also involves the construction of two stations: Balintawak station and Roosevelt station, as part of the MRT-LRT Closing the Loop project under the Arroyo administration. Construction of the North Extension began in 2007 and was finished in 2010. The construction was intended to integrate the LRT Line 1 and MRT Line 3 operations, but it never happened although there were test runs in 2010 and 2012. Balintawak station opened on March 22, 2010, while Roosevelt station opened seven months later, on October 22.
During the construction of the North Extension, Malvar station was proposed but was shelved years later.
In 2018, the project was reconfigured and now includes an extension to the under-construction North Triangle Common Station.
An extension of LRT Line 1 to the south, known as the South Extension Project or the Cavite Extension Project, is under construction and will serve the areas of Parañaque to Cavite. The extension will span from the Quirino Avenue, Harrison Avenue, and Taft Avenue Extension intersection, then would travel down from Redemptorist Road to Coastal Road, and will traverse through the Parañaque River and will enter Ninoy Aquino Avenue until reaching and traversing the C5 Extension Road; and will once again enter Coastal Road, crossing the Las Piñas-Bacoor Boundary Bridge along the Zapote River, and traverse through the Alabang–Zapote Road and Aguinaldo Highway intersection, until reaching the Niog station located along the Molino Boulevard at Bacoor, Cavite.
The extension project would add 8 stations covering 11.7 kilometers (7.3 mi) of new elevated railway sections and would be the third rail line extending outside the Metro Manila area (after the east extension of Line 2 and the construction of Line 7). The project is divided in two phases - Phase 1 covers five stations from Redemptorist to Dr. Santos, while Phase 2 covers the remaining three stations from Las Piñas to Niog.
Plans were also laid out to include 2 additional stations for the extension project:
- Manuyo Uno station - Las Piñas
- Talaba station - Bacoor
The project was first approved by the National Economic and Development Authority on August 25, 2000, while the Implementing Agreement for the project was approved on January 22, 2002. An unsolicited bid to conduct this work from Canada's SNC-Lavalin was rejected by the Philippine government in 2005.
In 2006, the government worked with advisers (International Finance Corporation, White & Case, Halcrow and others) to conduct an open-market invitation to tender for the extension and for a 30-year concession to run the extended line. However, Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo subsequently withdrew the project.
Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS)
An Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS) using plastic magnetic tickets as fare medium is being utilized in both the LRT Line 1 and LRT Line 2 Systems. The old magnetic ticket fare collection system of LRT Lines 1 & 2 was totally replaced with the new contactless smartcard based AFCS starting 16 December 2015, through the Department of Transportations’ PPP for the Automatic Fare Collection System Project for LRT Lines 1 & 2 and MRT3.
The Common Ticketing Project for LRTA Lines 1 & 2 and MRT3 under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program is a joint venture between the government and private organization led by Ayala and Metro Pacific. This new AFCS project replaced of the old-magnetic-based ticketing system installed in early 2000 and replacing the old system with contactless-based smart card technology on LRTA Lines 1 & 2 and MRT3.
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