Tan allots P3 billion for Skytrain monorail

ANDREW Tan’s Infracorp Development Inc. will spend some P3 billion for the Skytrain monorail project that hopes to connect a Metro Rail Transit (MRT) station and a property of Tan’s Megaworld Corp. at Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig.

“We are about to get the original proponent status. We’ve submitted the necessary requirements [to] the government. So we hope to be able to get it within the first quarter,” Infracorp President Kevin L. Tan told reporters on Wednesday.

Tan said the company is set to start the project by the end of the year and the company already secured the technical and technology partners to carry on with the construction.

“It’s at no cost to government. It’s quite a simple proposal,” Tan added. “So they’re inclined to give it to us because we can finish it on time in two to three years.”

Infracorp submitted its unsolicited proposal to the government last October to build a 2-kilometer monorail project called Skytrain that will link Uptown Bonifacio, Tan’s property in BGC, to the MRT Guadalupe Station. The company claims the project would benefit around 60,000 to 100,000 passengers daily.

The project, which will use the automated cable-propelled monorail technology, will reduce travel time from Fort to MRT Guadalupe to only five minutes, the company claims.

Under the proposal, a station will be built in Guadalupe, Makati, near the MRT station and another in Uptown Bonifacio, a township development of Megaworld Corp.

Once approved, construction of the monorail will take three years. Infracorp said it could be interconnected with the subway system the government plans to build.

“Funding of the project will be internally generated as part of the existing capex [capital expenditure] program of AGI’s [Alliance Global Group Inc.],” Tan earlier said.

Meanwhile, Tan said there are no formal talks with the Ayala Group, which owns BGC, also within the former military camp, to have a stake in Skytrain. “Actually, they approached us, but we don’t have any formal talks yet with them. To be candid, the talks actually started with another transportation project, which [manages] our Citylink buses. We have been in talks with them to grant us access to BGC and to Ayala Avenue,” Tan said, adding that it was the Ayala group’s idea for them to have a stake in Skytrain project.

“Because our Citylink buses are point-to-point buses, and they basically serve as transport solution not just for our township but for greater Bonifacio and Makati population,” Tan said. “And we have been in talks with Ayala to be able to grant us access. So that is how this whole thing started, it stemmed from that.”

He added the company has not evaluated the possible value if the Ayala group comes into the project.

“Remember, there had been a lot of discussions, but we do hope that we would be able to finalize even the first order of the day the Citylink buses being granted access to BGC and Ayala Avenue [before talks begin on Skytrain],” Tan said.

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