$1-B transport system proposed for east MM

Rainier Allan Ronda - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - A Japanese government-funded transport study for the establishment of an automated people mover (APM) system for Mandaluyong City has been expanded to include other cities in eastern Metro Manila  plus Taytay City in Rizal province. The project is estimated to cost $1.043 billion.

The “Study on Medium Capacity Transit System Project in Metro Manila” conducted by TOSTEMS Inc., Oriental Consultants Global Co. Ltd., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., and the Japan Planning Transport Association (JTPA) said to be under Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), was presented to Mandaluyong City Mayor Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr., and other city transport and engineering officials last week in a meeting held at the Mandaluyong City Hall.

The initial vision was to build an APM system starting at the Mandaluyong City Hall and running through the inner-city’s suburban areas straight through to the Ortigas central business district. The new master-plan which covers an estimated 19.6- kilometer is a mass transit system that will extend from Taytay in Rizal province east of Metro Manila to Santa Mesa in Manila, running through the Ortigas CBD.

The Japanese experts have offered three options: 1) Santa Mesa-Boni Ave.-Ortigas CBD-Taytay City; 2) V. Mapa- Shaw Boulevard, Ortigas CBD-Taytay; and 3) Gilmore-Ortigas Ave.-Taytay City.

Option 1 will be the longest, spanning an estimated 19.6 kilometers an elevated section of 17.1 kilometers, and an underground section of 2.5 kilometers. It is considered to be the most advantageous for Mandaluyong residents since it will pass through the city’s residential areas.

Option 2 will span 18.4 kilometers with an elevated section of 16.2 kilometers, and an underground section of 2.2 kilometers. The advantage of the line is it will connect to the EDSA-bound Metro Rail Transit at Shaw Boulevard and with the LRT (Light Rail Transit) Line 2 at the V. Mapa station.

 Option 3 will be the shortest, as well as cheapest, running mostly along the entire stretch of Ortigas Ave. and Ortigas Avenue Extension. Option 3 is envisioned to have a span of  14.8 kilometers, and will be fully elevated, and will be easy to accommodate with the wide Ortigas Avenue and Ortigas Ave. extension.

 The project, the Japanese experts said, will seek to reduce traffic congestion in Metro Manila especially in the section from Taytay City up to the Ortigas central business district; strenghten the eastern side of Metro Manila with the installation of a track guided transport system; and constribute to the revitalization of economic activities in Metro Manila.

The eastern Metro Manila APM project is projected to cost $1.043 billion including the actual construction of the guideway track, electro-mechanical systems and rolling stock/APM coaches including the additional rolling stock that will be purchased in 2029.

The study group is set to submit a final feasibility report to Mandaluyong City by February 2015.

If the approval process will be completed by 2016, the Japanese technical experts say the project will be completed, and commercial operations can be started by 2023.

Japan’s METI had given a grant of $1.5 million for the conduct of the comprehensive and highly-technical feasibility study. It is expected that once the proposal gets the approval from the involved local government units led by Mandaluyong City, and also the other national government agencies such as the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will extend an overseas development assistance (ODA) loan for the project.

Mandaluyong secured late last June a crucial clearance from the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) for the city government to continue its coordination with the Japanese government for the conduct of further requisite technical and feasibility studies for the proposed APM project.

In a letter to Mandaluyong City Mayor Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr., dated June 30, DOTC Undersecretary for Legal Jose Perpetuo Lotilla informed the city government of their endorsement of the project.

An APM system is said to be similar to the Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) technology that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is trying to develop with their construction of a protoype AGT line inside the UP Diliman campus in Quezon City, and the current new prototype lince they are now building inside the DOST central office complex in Bicutan, Taguig City.

The APM is different from the “monorail” system, which is being proposed by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority as a public rail line transport in Bonifacio Global City to connect the emerging central business district with the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals, since it is a radial wheel-based technology, with a concrete guideway and signaling similar to trains except that it uses rubber tires.

Compared to the MRT and Light Rail Transit coaches, APM coaches are smaller, more flexible, can be coupled up to six cars, has a higher passenger capacity and can accommodate up to 90 to 100 passengers per car. Vehicles can operate up to a speed of 80 kilometers per hour.






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