LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- At least P10 million will be needed for a full blown feasibility study of the proposed multi-billion monorail project between this capital town and Baguio City.

Department of Science and Technology – Cordillera regional director Victor Mariano said it needs the endorsement of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera to do the feasibility study for the ambitious environmentally-friendly project aimed at addressing the traffic in the Baguio, La Trinidad areas.

Based on the pre-feasibility study, the 5.2-kilometer line of the Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) from the provincial capital to the Slaughterhouse Compound in Baguio City requires P3.8 billion while the 2.1-kilometer AGT line from the Bonifacio rotunda up to the SM City Baguio passing through the central business district area will cost approximately P2.9 billion.

Nancy Bantog, DOST-CAR assistant regional director, said the P10 million required for the feasibility study was recommended for inclusion in the agency’s budget for 2017 but DOST-CAR officials are not yet aware if this fund was incorporated in their budget.

Bantog claimed the results of the feasibility study will ascertain if the government is capable of consummating this project that is geared towards establishing a sustainable mass transport system to reduce the monstrous traffic congestions in the Baguio and La Trinidad areas.

“It will now be up to the RDC-CAR to determine whether or not to pursue the implementation of the project. We will have to wait for the next RDC en banc meeting what action they will take on the project,” Mariano stressed.

The La Trinidad and Baguio City local governments earlier endorsed the pre-feasibility and full blown feasibility studies as they see this project will significantly contribute to reducing the worsening traffic congestions in the heavily populated areas of the two localities.

The AGT that will be installed in the La Trinidad to Baguio line and the Baguio line will be similar to the one pilot tested by the agency at the University of the Philippines Diliman campus which turned out to be successful and worthy of being replicated in similarly situated areas in the country like in Baguio City and La Trinidad town.

The coaches of the AGT will be installed on an elevated platform over the Balili River and right at the central business district area to serve as a mass transport system for commuters to use instead of using their own motor vehicles in going around the urban centers.

Mariano explained the AGT system is one of the locally developed alternative modes of transport using electricity instead of fossil fuel to reduce air pollutants around the heavily populated areas of Baguio and La Trinidad. (Dexter See/PIO)