TRAFFIC congestion in some areas in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue may be mitigated if the proposed 17-kilometer monorail project is realized.
Representatives of the Manila-based PhilTram Transportation Consortium Corp. and Beijing-based China Railway Engineering Consulting Group Co. Ltd. presented yesterday the initial result of the project’s feasibility study, including the route where the monorail will pass.
Jose Guardo Jr., chief operating officer of PhilTram, said that the monorail will run from the South Road Properties (SRP) all the way to Mandaue City.
It will start on the City de Mari development in SRP then pass behind the SM Seaside Cebu complex.
The monorail will then proceed to the Mambaling exit and to N. Bacalso Ave. toward the Cebu South Bus Terminal.
From there, it will pass P. del Rosario St. to Imus St, then will make a right turn to Gen. Maxilom Ext., proceed to Robinsons Galleria then to SM City Cebu and Parkmall.
From Parkmall, the monorail will pass M. C. Briones St. in Mandaue City. Its route will end at Pacific Mall.
If the Mandaue City Government will agree, Guardo said that an integrated terminal for public utility jeepneys and monorail will be constructed at Pacific Mall.
Zhijun Lu, senior engineer and team leader of CEC, said there is a possibility that they will extend the monorail’s route to the Mactan Cebu International Airport for the second phase of the project.
PhilTram and CEC commissioned Systra, an international engineering and consulting group specializing in rail and public transport, for the feasibility study of the monorail project in Cebu. The feasibility study is expected to be completed in three weeks.
Guardo said that if Cebu will not shift to mass transport systems, it will eventually experience gridlock.
“Cebu City has reached critical levels where mass transit network is needed and a do-nothing scenario may hamper sustained development,” reads a portion of Systra’s statement.
Guardo said that as proposed, the project will have 17 stations and the proponent will be using a six-coach train.
Guardo also pointed out that the monorail will complement the multi-billion-peso Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project since the former is elevated and will have a median alignment using the existing center islands of the roads.
It will not replace the jeepneys since these will be utilized by the passengers in going to and from the monorail’s stations.
Once the feasibility study is completed, Guardo said it will be submitted to the Department of Transportation for consideration and possible funding. (RVC)