“Ah, ma-late nasad ko ani sa ka trapik! (Ah, I'm going to be late again because the traffic is so bad!)” “Pag hybrid electric road train lang, bai. (Ride the hybrid electric road train, instead.)” Sounds char, yes, but this conversation among commuters will soon be very true here in Cebu.
Say goodbye to heavy traffic!
No more waking up hours early before dawn just to get to work or school on time. Cebu is set to have the the train operating sometime in 2016. It would be 30 meters long with 5 coaches, each passenger coach having a capacity of 40 passengers, a total of 160 since only 4 of the coaches are for passengers while the first coach is for the driver and the power source.
On the downside, it’s smaller than the original design is a 40-meter 5-coach train with each coach able to accommodate 65 passengers at a time, a total of 260. This is because Cebu has smaller roads but considering a train is estimated to run with a maximum speed somewhere within the range of 50 kph - 69 kph, and have dedicated lanes, it will definitely be a great alternative to beat that rush hour traffic.
Routes haven’t been determined yet but it shouldn’t be long from now. Testing of the prototype of the hybrid electric train should have begun this month in Clark, Pampanga or if it hasn’t yet, by August. Route-planning should soon follow.
The plan is DOST will be in charge of the design of the train while a private company will produce it. Implementation will be done under a public-private partnership.
It’s friendly for the environment and our pockets!
A wise decision, indeed - Running on electricity and fuel, the train should be energy-efficient since it will be running on a battery, not electric cables while at the same time emitting less carbon into the atmosphere, making it also eco-friendly.
The cost has not yet been finalized as of the latest report but 1 hybrid road train is estimated to cost a minimum of 10% more than an air-conditioned bus but Secretary Montejo reasoned that it consumes 20%-25% less energy.
But what about the Bus Rapid Transit?
Remember the Bus Rapid Transit plan that made a lot of noise earlier this year? Sec. Montejo assures the public that the hybrid electric train will complement the BRT and other public transportation systems which means commuters will have more options! If routes and infrastructures are planned well, the need to have private vehicles would lessen and Cebu would become much easier, faster, cheaper and cleaner (in terms of air intake) to get around in.
Photo credits: GMA Network