Cebu City okays MRT study | SunStar

Cebu City okays MRT study

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Cebu City okays MRT study

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Would an MRT do well in Cebu? Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña (seated) signs a memorandum of under-standing for Philtram Transportation (led by its chairman and president Domingo Peñaloza, right) to study if a monorail transit system in Cebu would be feasible. (SunStar Foto/Allan Defensor)

A MANILA-BASED firm will conduct a series of tests in some areas in Cebu City for the Cebu Monorail Transit (MRT) system.

The tests form part of the project’s feasibility study, which will run for six months starting in June.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña, on behalf of the City Government signed yesterday a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Philtram Transportation Consortium Inc., the company who will undertake the study.

Philtram, in cooperation with Chinese Enterprise CRRC Nanjing Puzhen Co. Ltd., is undertaking urban rail project studies in the country to help solve the traffic problem.

Under the MOU, Philtram will analyze the present and future distribution of passengers, possible fares, preliminary design and related cost estimates, among many others.

The City Government, for its part, will assign personnel to help Philtram access data, reports, studies and documents.

Once the first phase of the project is completed, Philtram President Arnold Ray Alagar said they may expand the MRT and connect it to other areas and the South Road Properties.

Phase 1 will cover the routes plying the center of Cebu City.

Alagar said the proposed MRT will be “visually appealing” like those in Singapore and China so it will also serve as a tourist attraction.

Alagar believes that the MRT will provide an “economical solution” to the traffic woes compared to the Light Railway Transit (LRT). It will also complement the city’s Bus Rapid Transit project.

The MRT, Alagar said, can ferry some 40,000 passengers per hour every day.

Other proposals

Osmeña said he will support any project that will improve the city’s traffic, provided that the City Government will not spend for it.

“I will support all mass transport system proposals, may it be MRT or LRT,” he said.

Also yesterday, a meeting of Mega Cebu leaders was held at the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. where some local officials discussed and expressed support for the implementation of an LRT project in Cebu.

Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino told the Mega Cebu members that the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has prioritized the LRT project to solve Cebu’s worsening traffic problem.

Dino, who was one of the guests, disclosed that various firms have already expressed interest in the project.

Studies are being undertaken to determine the feasibility of the LRT in Cebu.

When the National Government bids out the project, Dino said they are planning to chose the firm who will offer the lowest fare to the riding public.

Talisay City Mayor Eduardo Gullas expressed support for Dino’s plan to introduce LRT in Cebu.

His grandson, Rep. Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas, also told Dino that the mayors of Cebu’s first district support the project.

Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on May 20, 2017.

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