By Louise Maureen Simeon | The Philippine Star | August 27, 2015

MANILA - Despite complaints over long queue lines in the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and problems in the newly-implemented tap-and-go system or beep cards in the Light Rail Transit (LRT), the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has outlined further plans for the country’s mass transit system.

 “Obviously, we need more lines and connections for mass transit. We want more lines and connections, new buses and routes, and better services,” DOTC Undersecretary Rene Limcaoco said.

DOTC targets to add 158 kilometers (km) from the existing 103 km of available mass transit lines by year 2021.

Under the pipeline are the Dasmariñas Line and Taytay Line which are for National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) approval; Tutuban-Calamba project due for bidding; Line 2 West Extension which is under procurement and the Manila and EDSA bus rapid transit (BRT) which are also subject to NEDA approval.

An integrated transport system terminal that will offer seamless transfers among the southwest, south and north terminals is also being planned. South and southwest costs P6.5 billion while the north terminal is still under study.

Ortigas Greenways, on the other hand, where MRT users can access the station using a single continuous passage, will cost P260 million and will be implemented by the last quarter of 2016.

By 2021, the agency expects to reduce car usage by 100,000 cars, reduce travel time from 2.5 to 1.2 hours, double rail trips from 1.9 to 3.8 million, lessen logistics costs from 23 to 15 percent and slash transport cost by 8.5 percent.