Railway seen to ease Baguio traffic woes

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BAGUIO CITY: A Filipino-designed Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) System may soon be the alternative mode of public transportation to ease traffic and address pollution problem in this city and La Trinidad, Benguet, according to a study by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the University of the Philippines – National Center for Transportation Studies (UP-NCTS).

The Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) of the DOST and UP-NCTS completed the feasibility study on the deployment of a locally developed mass transportation system technology considered probable under a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) and Build–Operate–Transfer (BOT) Scheme.

For Baguio City and La Trinidad a 5.2 kilometer railway is proposed to ferry 720 passengers in six coaches through the Balili River.

The study team 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.


In its report, there are at least 1,437 jeepneys registered with different routes travelling from Baguio City to La Trinidad and vice versa, which the AGT system aims to address.

Estimated cost for the proposed AGT system is P1.348 billion including the six 120 seat coaches at P66 million per coach, the development cost of the 5.2 kilometer elevated track worth P1.122 billion, and developmental cost of the proposed 4 stations is worth P160 million.

As projected, the annual fare revenue for the 10-year period starting 2016 is P86.6 billion with an annual ridership of 30,860,561 which may grow to P159 billion with annual ridership of 56,636,258 by 2026.

Projected expansion of the AGT System will cover the Municipalities of Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay all in Benguet.

PNA

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