A HYBRID electric road train will be plying Cebu City streets next month.
Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) Head Rafael Yap said yesterday that the a prototype unit will be delivered by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) some time in September for testing.
In an interview yesterday, Yap said the DOST already sent a letter to the City asking that one or two personnel be designated as test drivers for the road train.
“The road train will be running around the city for a while. We will test it and if we like it, continue to use it or promote it for other bidders to undertake,” he said.
The provision of drivers, Yap said, is one of the deliverables of the City when it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the DOST last year for the implementation of the project.
Yap said there are already proposed routes for the road train, but it is yet to be approved.
He, however, assured that it will not compete with the jeepneys.
Asked if the public can already ride with the prototype road train, Yap said it will have to be discussed first.
The road train, which is designed by Filipino engineers, is made up of five linked coaches that stretches to 40 meters. One coach will carry the train’s power source, while the other four will hold passengers.
Each coach of the road train will be able to carry 40 passengers or a total of 160 passengers per ride.
The road train, which can run at a maximum speed of 50 kph, will be powered by hybrid diesel fuel and an electric battery.
If Mayor Tomas Osmeña is supportive of the city having road trains, Yap said he cannot speak on behalf of the mayor, but added he sees no problem with it.
He pointed out that the project is at no cost to the City Government.
The road train, once fully in place and operational, will be another kind of mass transport system in the city.
It will be in addition to the P10.6-billion Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) that is already ready for implementation and the recent plan to construct a railway system for Cebu.
Yap said he sees nothing wrong it.
“As far as amoa is concerned, the more public transport modes are available, the better. The idea is to have good quality public transport in the city. Short term, there will be an adjustment phase where people are transferring from private to public transport. In a long term, dapat majority of road users should rely already on public transportation,” he said.
It was last year when the City, during the time of former mayor Michael Rama, signed the MOU with the DOST for the road train.