6/24/2012 update courtesy of Business Mirror in the Philippines titled 'Train Projects on Track,' by Dennis D. Estopace.
I had suggested the study of a monorail implementation last year for connecting the Taft Avenue MRT Station, LRT-1 & EDSA nexus to the SM Mall of Asia.
The SM Mall of Asia may well have been dethroned temporarily by SM North EDSA as the largest mall complex in the Philippines, but with PAGCOR City's ongoing build-up, perhaps Mr. Henry Sy and the many visionaries in the Philippines envision the date when MOA in Pasay will retake that top spot?
The Toronto Zoo used to have a decent monorail, Disneyland's utilize them, Honolulu was considering one years ago and it would, in my humble opinion but a good fit for this area in Manila. While I have worked in the safety, facilities utilization and various fields in the past, I do recall one saying that nearly everyone that drives, considers themselves an expert in traffic matters. This is simply an idea or proposal for consideration and here are a few supporting points:
1) Rotonda is a highly congested area and a considerable amount of employees and visitors to SM Mall of Asia transit through this hub and select an alternate means of commuting from this point. Alleviating that crush of commuters would be most helpful in reducing choke points on west EDSA and make the travel to MOA easier.
2) The route will run above ground so as not to be flood prone.
3) The increased revenues might prompt the MRT & LRT lines to implement round the clock runs, at least at 30 minute intervals.
4) The Northerly route of the monorail would connect to Harbor Square which is a growing and trendy area for visitors as envisioned with the transition from the Baywalk, Malate, Manila area which lies nearer to the U.S. Embassy and is no longer a thriving sunset vista. This is also convenient for Star City, The Cultural Center of the Philippines & ferry travelers to mention a few and would be complementary to the trolley service already on the Western side of SM MOA.
5) Besides making connections to SMX conventions and all the events there, the Southerly route of the monorail would connect to the areas that will become a part of PAGCOR City and Nayong Pilipino (Manila.) The service would also be convenient for those living in all the newly constructed and ongoing construction of condominiums.
6) Employees would have another affordable option to go back and forth to work which will be especially beneficial during rainy season. Those visiting or working at the entertainment spots would have another option late at night, before curfew, which I think still kicks in at 2 A.M, to commute. Call Center workers and other business professionals who work around the clock would also stand to benefit.
7) Taxi traffic and all the Jeepneys, FX's and various point-2-point vehicles such as those going from Baclaran would still have ample customers.
8) Such a system is environmentally friendly and would provide jobs.
Please add your thoughts to include benefits and detriments below and/or thoughts on cost analysis etc.
These are just a few of the thoughts that come back to mind at this moment on considering a monorail in this area. If someone thinks that this idea has merit enough to be considered, please pass it on to an elected official, businessman or transportation advocate.
I am a guest here in the Philippines and will continue to share my small ideas. If one or some of them take root for the benefit of others, then I would be most delighted.
Here is the official link to the City of Pasay's Government website and the Honorable Antonino G. Calixto, the city Mayor. You can avail of maps, job information, contests and more there!
The following is a quote from his speech last year:
"the mayor also stressed that his administration will focus on cleanliness, health, and peace and order. It will also maintain its fight against criminality and the proliferation of illegal drugs along with the campaign on education."
In summary here, in my opinion, a monorail would be a sound investment for the future and provide efficient transit options for many while promoting business and culture. Security concerns could be well managed while providing additional labor opportunities for local denizens along with increased revenue for the city of Pasay.
According to GABRIEL S. MABUTAS, with a report on the Manila Bulletin, on 2/5/2011, the LRTA has delayed any fare hikes on the rail transit systems. You can go directly to this report and the official MRT & LRT links at the following article from January 13, 2011:
To Your Success!
Update: After submitting this report, curiosity got the best of me and I decided to do some quick Google searches on monorails in the Philippines and discovered that there are at least two projects in the works and at least one company to act as a competitor to the Filipino developed system(s). I will include 3 links now that I am aware of this information. 1 is to Hitachi, Philippines below as a News Story, another to Diliman Campus, and another regarding interconnecting the airports.
"First monorail out by June next year"
One more: http://bayan-natin.blogspot.com/2010/12/
Good to see that progress is taking place! Kudos to the DOST & Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) developers!
Guess my thinking last year was not so crazy afterall ;)