THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has formally proposed to have a prototype of a Hybrid Electric Road Train in Cebu City.
This was contained in a draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) that Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) Executive Director Rafael Yap endorsed to the Cebu City Council.
DOST first created a prototype of an Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) at the University of the Philippines in Diliman.
The moment this was publicized, Mayor Michael Rama made known his interest in having the same in Cebu City.
Yap said the road train is a variation of the AGT, only that there will be no use for a railway.
The draft MOU is between DOST Sec. Mario Montejo and Rama, representing the Cebu City Government.
The prototype will be at no cost to the City.
The City Government only needs to identify the routes where the road train will pass through.
Yap will coordinate with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is collecting data in the City for the most “economically and financially viable routes.”
The DOST, in the draft MOU, recognized the City Government’s interest in developing a mass transport system.
For a long time, the Cebu City lobbied for the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system to be implemented in the City. However, the system still needs the approval of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).
Yap said that since Cebu City has shown interest in a mass transport system, several alternatives have been proposed to the City Government.
“DOST needs a place to showcase their road train and Mayor Rama volunteered,” Yap said.
On the other hand, DOST is continually developing transport systems that are energy efficient, less polluting and cost-effective with zero or minimal subsidy from the government.
“DOST shall endeavor to fast-track the prototyping, testing, and deployment of the road train... Shall identify possible Cebu-based fabricators who will build the proposed road train when implemented,” the draft MOU read.
DOST will also commission a feasibility study.
Cebu City “shall endeavor to identify the possible routes of the road train and facilitate the acquisition of the road-right-of-way for the proposed dedicated lanes.”
The City will also consult its constituents and solicit support from the Regional Development Council and other sectors.
The Council will call for an executive session on the matter with an invitation for a representative of DOST and Citom to appear as well as other personalities with expertise on environment friendly mass transport system.