Freeman Cebu Business

Proposed monorail system may be expanded to Mactan

Carlo S. Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Philtram Transportation Consortium Inc., is open to expanding its proposed Cebu monorail system to Mactan Island.

"Of course, Mactan will be included. It's logical. But probably under Phase 2," Cerwin Eviota, the firm's public relations officer, told The FREEMAN yesterday.

"Based on our feasibility study (FS), we maintain the monorail line from Tabunok in Talisay through midtown Cebu City to UN Avenue junction in Mandaue. We excluded Mactan in our studies," he pointed out.

He was sought comment on the earlier pronouncement of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade that the monorail will become Mactan Island’s transport system, connecting Mactan-Cebu International Airport to different hotels and resorts in the tourist island.

He said the Department of Transportation will soon implement an Integrated Transportation System (ITS) that will synchronize various transportation projects aimed to address Cebu’s worsening traffic problem.

The ITS will include a point-to-point (P2P) bus system similar to MyBus, which is already operational in the city; a monorail in Lapu-Lapu City; the BRT (bus rapid transit) in three-lane roads; and the LRT (light rail transit) lines from Carcar to Danao, and the Mandaue to Airport Line.

"The integrated inter-modal mass transport system is what Philtram has been advocating for," Eviota said.

"Beyond the Metro Cebu monorail we proposed, our plan includes the integration of BRT, and feeder (P2P and in-loop) eBuses and eJeepneys," the official said.

The company is set to submit to DOTr its unsolicited Cebu monorail system proposal within the month.

Its feasibility study has been completed and now the company is finalizing "consortium agreements" before it submits its unsolicited proposal to DOTr, Evita said.

"In a week or two once consortium agreements are finalized and sealed," he said when asked about the submission target.

The monorail's project cost was pegged at roughly P50 billion or US$1 billion.

Once the company gets approval after submission of unsolicited proposal, the project's detailed engineering and design, to be undertaken by China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC) subsidiary China Railway Engineering Consulting Group (CEC), will then follow.

If everything goes according to plan, the firm had assured Cebuanos will start to enjoy the mass transport system by 2021 as it will only take two years for the project's civil works, installation of signaling system, and the test runs for the rolling stocks, among others.

A monorail is a railway system in which the track consists of a single rail, typically elevated and with the trains suspended from it. The term is also used to describe the beam of the system, or the vehicles traveling on such a beam or track. Many monorails run on elevated tracks through crowded areas that would otherwise require the construction of expensive underground lines or have the disadvantages of surface lines. (FREEMAN)

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