Cebu News

Electric road train to go on test drive next month

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - A hybrid electric road train will be tested in Cebu City next month, City Transportation Office head Rafael Yap announced.

Yap said the Department of Science and Technology will send a prototype of the hybrid train in September for a test drive in the city’s streets.

“The reason why they are sending it to us is for testing if we like to promote the road train,” he said.

Last year, representatives of the city government and the DOST signed a memorandum of understanding to address the concern on urbanized metropolis, specifically on traffic congestion, through the introduction of a hybrid electric road train.

The DOST, Yap said, has requested the city government to designate an employee to be the test driver of the said train.

Asked if commuters can get on the train during its test drive, Yap said they will have to see first the technical capability of the unit.

He said he will submit a copy of the proposed routes where the train will traverse during the test drive.

He did not disclose yet what the proposed routes are, but assured that no public utility jeepneys will be affected.

“The idea is to have good quality transport sa city. Short term, there would be an adjustment phase that people would be transferring from private to public. Long term, dapat majority sa atong road users should rely on public transportation,” he said.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña will be the one to appoint a City Hall employee to test the hybrid train, said Yap.

When asked about the stand of the mayor on the new transport mode, Yap said he believes there would be no problems since the project is at no cost to the city government.

“All we have to do is to test it. And if we like it, we’ll continue to use it and promote it for other interested bidders to undertake,” he explained.

Several public transportation means are being proposed in Cebu City including the Light Rail Transit and Bus Rapid Transit, among others, which are a welcome development for Yap.

“As far as amoa is concerned, the more public transport modes that are available, the better,” he said.

The hybrid electric road train is reportedly 40-meter long and 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. Mainly powered by hybrid diesel fuel and electric-powered battery, it will run at a speed of 50 kilometers per hour.  (FREEMAN)


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