Let's get this straight. it's supposed to be Transit Oriented Development NOT Development Funded Transit. Could someone make that clear to the MRT-8 proponents?
From Businessworld article dated September 20, 2005:
"A consortium led by American Transport System Corp. is proposing to develop a 2,300-hectare estate in Angono, Rizal, approximately the size of Makati City, to raise funds for the $907.4-million Metro Rail Transit 8 (MRT-8).
The estate called Palayan ng Bayan will be linked to MRT-8 by a 25-kilometer, six-lane highway the group will build by next year."
"In a proposal to the government, consortium representative, Herve Laumond, said 516 hectares will be initially developed into a special economic zone housing information technology firms, call centers, and wafer plants by 2006.
Also in the consortium are Vinci Construction Grand Projects, Bombardier Transportation, Invensys Foxboro Transportation, Aecom Technology Corp. and Systra."
"The consortium expects a high-end investment in wafer plant with an annual turnover of $500 million-$700 million to funnel, $15 million-$20 million to state coffers and about $10 million-$13 million to the local government of Rizal.
Mr. Laumond said the initial development would be enough to cover expenses for MRT-8 as it would draw $4 billion-$5 billion in direct investment. He said the project would benefit the government in direct income tax amounting to $45 million yearly at current exchange rates. The project will employ 100,000 workers."
So the scuttlebutts: To defray the investment costs, they want to develop an area larger than Makati that will potentially have 100,000 workers -BUT it'll be 25-kilometers from the nearest MRT-8 station which they'll need to connect to the train via a six-lane highway. What's wrong with this picture?
Intent of MRT-8 (mass transit)
= less car dependence, less traffic congestion, less sprawl
six lane highway+25 kilometers to nearest station
= sprawl and traffic congestion
Where will the workers live? Will they take the train to work?
The real-estate deal is just to cover the construction costs, to say nothing of the $100 M they will need to operate this project in the first 5 years.
The government should REALLY REALLY CONSIDER bus rapid transit as a solution. It'll be at a fraction of the cost and won't require these faustian trades. These light and heavy rail projects are starting to look like pork for engineering companies. (BTW, Laumond was also a proponent of MRT-4 and also has his fingers in the Panay Rail project.)