DOST Road Train on Track
May 16, 2015
BAGUIO CITY – the Feasibility Study (FS) to assess the potential of operating an Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) or road train as an alternative mode of transportation in this mountain resort is now in its final stage.
This was reported by the Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC-DOST) in coordination with the University of the Philippines-National Center for Transportation Studies (UP-NCTS) who is currently undertaking the study to know if the AGT project is a viable mode of transportation for Baguio and La Trinidad.
A proposed expansion of the project would also cover the adjoining municipalities of Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay.
The update on the AGT Feasibility Study was presented to the different stakeholders last week with the full feasibility study completion before July, this year.
Initial reports for the AGT project showed transportation problems being faced from Baguio City to La Trinidad such as congestion and rapid vehicle population increase, too many existing franchises on Public Utility Vehicles (PUV), duplicated lines of service routes, lack of off-street loading and unloading stations.
The team also observed problems in traffic management rules, smoke pollution, pedestrian-motorists conflicts, undisciplined drivers and pedestrians on the streets, lack of traffic enforcers to direct traffic especially along the Central Business District (CBD) during peak hours in the morning and afternoon.
Location of schools, hospitals and other commercial establishments along the CBD also contributes to traffic congestion and the lack of parking management strategy to effectively reduce the private vehicles, space for loading and unloading zones for private vehicles and the lack of implementing body and authority to manage all transport and traffic operations, rules and standards, engineering, and education of public transport operations was also observed.
As per reports, there are at least 1,437 jeepneys registered with different routes travelling from Baguio City to La Trinidad and vice versa.
A proposed 4 to 5.2 kilometers of elevated track along Balili River from La Trinidad to Baguio City was presented with four stations which will be located in the Provincial Capitol of La Trinidad, Kilometer 5 (BSU first gate), kilometer 4 and Slaughter House, Magsaysay, Baguio.
Estimated total cost for the proposed 120 seater coach AGT is 1.348 billion which includes development cost of proposed 6 coaches worth 66 million, developmental cost of 5.2 kilometer elevated track worth 1.122 billion and developmental cost of proposed 4 stations worth 160 million.
The projected annual fare revenues for the 10-year period for the AGT starting 2016 is P86,563,873,359.56 with annual ridership of 30,860,561 which would grow to P158,864,703,122.00 with annual ridership of 56,636,258 by 2026.
Although it is still partial results of the feasibility study, the possibility of deploying a locally developed mass transportation system technology in Baguio City and La Trinidad shows promise financially and if recommended, can be on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Scheme under a Private-Public Partnership (PPP)./Paul Rillorta