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DOTC backs DOST’s electric road train

Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - July 28, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Electric Road Train (ERT) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has gained the support of Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.

With Science Secretary Mario Montejo serving as tour guide, Abaya and Sen. Cynthia Villar went on a 10-minute ride on the ERT bus around the SM Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City yesterday.

The demonstration rides highlighted the celebration of the 2015 National Science and Technology Week.

In an interview with reporters after the ride, Abaya voiced his support for the DOST project, saying it could be an alternative mass transport system to help ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

“It’s like an ordinary air-conditioned bus,” Abaya said.

However, the DOTC chief said ERT buses should be registered first with the Land Transportation Office before these are allowed to operate.

Public utility bus operators said they welcomed efforts of the government to develop mass transport system such as the ERT project.

According to Montejo, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Clark Development Corp. and the local government of Cebu have expressed interest in adopting the project.

Designed by Filipino engineers and made with locally available parts, the 40-meter long train-like bus is an alternative means of transportation and touted by the DOST as a possible answer to the mass transportation problems in Metro Manila.

The ERT bus can serve 650,000 commuters when fully implemented, Montejo said.

It is composed of five interconnected fully air-conditioned coaches, four of which can accommodate 60 passengers each for a total of 240 commuters per ride.

The ERT can run at a maximum speed of 60 kph. It is powered by a hybrid engine that runs on diesel fuel and electric battery.

The train is designed to be energy-efficient since it does not need electricity and cables to operate.

The ERT is expected to produce less smoke emission compared to existing mass transport vehicles, making it an eco-friendly mode of transport, the DOST said.

Aside from the ERT project, the DOST is also pursuing an ambitious project to develop an Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) system inside the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City and in Bicutan, Taguig.

The AGT adopts a radial wheel tire technology for a rail line system.

ABAYA ABAYA AND SEN AUTOMATED GUIDEWAY TRANSIT CLARK DEVELOPMENT CORP CYNTHIA VILLAR DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ELECTRIC ROAD TRAIN ERT LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE MALL OF ASIA METRO MANILA
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