CEBU will soon have its first Light Rail Transit.
This as a consortium of local and foreign companies are now working closely with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the construction of LRT as an efficient and convenient mass transport system in Cebu.
Chris Kou, the consortium’s representative and project developer, said today that a proponent led by Tjen Hian Ka, the consortium's senior consultant, started the process with the DOTr way back in the last quarter of 2017.
The consortium expects to complete the process with the DOTr this year. After completing necessary permits and other documentations by this year (2018), construction may start immediately in early 2019, Kou said.
Kou said Tjen is senior director of SAA Architects Pte Ltd (Singapore) and a recognized personality in architectural industry in Singapore and China. His company works in transportation and integrated development projects and completed various scales of metro rail and light rail projects in different countries in Asia.
Tjen’s company has actively participated in the design and construction management of more than 50 percent of Singapore’s MRT and LRT systems. Currently, SAA it conducted the design and construction management of Singapore’s Changi Airport Terminal 4, with a total floor area of 225,000 square meters, with a capacity of 16 million passengers per annum. The airport, with a total cost of almost one billion Singaporean dollars, was opened and inaugurated in October 2017.
Kou said the proposal presented by Tjen’s group to the administration of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte through the DOTr is to build the Metro Cebu Light Rail Transit (Cebu LRT) through a design-finance-build-transfer and manage project.
He said Cebu LRT will be funded by One Belt One Road program of the Chinese government, supported by Chinese companies: Guangzhou Metro China; Guangzhou Metro & Design Institute China; Anhui Shengyun Environmental Protection Group Co (China); Guangdong Hydropower Co. Ltd. China; Harvest Global Investment Pte Ltd, Singapore; and Sinophile Sheng Yun Management Inc. (Philippines).
“The proposal is to build an elevated LRT with a subway section at the central business district of Cebu City,” Kou said.
He assured the Cebuano community that Cebu LRT will be constructed with minimum disruption to the existing traffic.
This light rail project will be implemented under two phases.
“There will be two lines under phase 1 that will cover the Metro Cebu area. This phase comprises the Central Line and the Airport Line with bridge crossing from Cebu’s mainland to Mactan Island,” Kou said. “Phase 1 will also provide research, development, and technical support center for building local skills related to rail eco-system.”
Engr. Manuel "Jam" Jamonir, business development manager of Udenna Infrastructure Corp., said the Cebu LRT phase 1 will substantially cover the entire Metro Cebu because the line will start from Carcar City up to Danao City and vice versa.
Jamonir said: “For the first time, Cebu City will have a rail transport that will run in a subway system. Beyond Cebu City, the LRT will go above ground to minimize utilization of the existing roads for the columns of the rail system’s infrastructure,” Jamonir said.
This rail transport system for Cebu that will benefit the 2.8 million population will be constructed with zero cost to the government, to be operated without government subsidy, and without government guarantee, with high quality assurance given the active participation of Udenna Group under Mr. Dennis Uy’s leadership, said Jamonir.
The second phase will be a commuter rail for the greater Cebu, Kou added, the implementation of which shall be subject to economic, population, future modern transport needs, and other factors.
The project developer quoted the senior consultant as saying that the LRT will provide Cebu’s populace with a fast, reliable, and efficient transport system that is seen to alleviate the current traffic condition particularly in the central business district of Cebu City.
Kou said Mr. Tjen’s group takes into consideration the estimated ridership for the next 50 years as well as the current road networks.
“In a project like LRT, we need to look forward and consult with the planning experts. In the implementation stage, we have to see to it that disturbance is lesser and inconvenience to existing road users and residents in the metropolis are respected,” Kou emphasized.
Cebu LRT’s first phase will be constructed within shortest possible time, with all site works targeted for completion by 2022, he said. (PR)