The LRT-2 network will finally go beyond Santolan Station. That’s because the railway’s East Extension will start operations on July 6. This milestone comes after a series of setbacks resulting from the ongoing pandemic. The project adds another 3.793km to the line, connecting Manila and Rizal with two new stations in the Marikina-Pasig and Antipolo areas.
To accommodate the increased daily passenger capacity—estimated to be around 320,000—the fleet has been boosted to eight trains. The extension is also expected to reduce congestion along Marcos Highway, with most passengers being redirected toward the newly opened stations instead of having them board and disembark from buses and jeepneys.
According to the Light Rail Transit Authority and the Department of Transportation, the extension project will reduce the travel time between Claro M. Recto (Manila) and Masinag (Antipolo) to just 30 to 40 minutes, compared to the usual three to four hours via bus or jeepney.
One of the unforeseen benefits of the entire project is its effect on the economy: 1,800 new jobs were created during construction. The DOTr estimates that around 170 rail personnel will be employed to work at the two new stations. The ease of travel should also prove beneficial to businesses in Antipolo and its neighboring towns and cities.