COMMUTERS and transport groups in General Santos strongly opposed the 40-meter train bus–Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT)–of the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) that made a test run last week, calling it impractical since it adds to traffic congestion.
Councilor Dominador Lagare Jr., chairman of the city council’s committee on transportation, introduced the hybrid bus in GenSan, which conducted the test run on major roads for a week.
Philip Enong, former secretary general of the Freedom from Debt Coalition, said it is impractical for the city government to allow the hybrid bus in GenSan “because it causes more serious traffic congestion within the major roads. Our main mode of transport is tricycles, and we cannot even decongest traffic, so how can you add the bus train that occupies a much bigger space.”
Herbert Dinio, spokesman for city transport groups, said “the city council is introducing this wide space-eating bus train without studying the city routes.”
He added that the transport groups did not also accept the city council’s proposal to implement the electronic tricycle or e-trike mode of transport in the city.
“Its price per unit is P480,000. Our drivers and operators cannot even afford to buy the ordinary tricycle, which costs only P150,000.”
Meanwhile, Lagare said in an interview over Brigada News TV that “everything is all set, especially the route and the trial system, and we’re only waiting for the go-signal from the DoST.”
The 40-meter long bus train arrived in GenSan after a six-month test run in Cebu City.
It plans to cover 17 stops along the national highway from Barangay Tinagacan to the city fishport complex in Barangay Tambler.
The bus train will take off at 4 a.m. in front of Tinagacan Elementary School and will mainly cater to teachers, fishport and tuna canning workers.
It will make two round trips in the morning and another two in the afternoon, Lagare said.
The vehicle is designed to carry only 240 passengers at one time and it is estimated that about1,800 passengers would be accommodated for every trip in the entire route.