Hybrid train arrives, but no available route

By Jose Santino S. Bunachita |December 14,2016 - 10:33 PM
 Workers assemble the hybrid train of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in front of the Cebu City Transportation Office at the North Reclamation Area. (CDN Photo/Junjie Mendoza).

Workers assemble the hybrid train of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in front of the Cebu City Transportation Office at the North Reclamation Area. (CDN Photo/Junjie Mendoza).

The hybrid electric road train from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) arrived in Cebu City yesterday, but there’s no route big enough to accommodate it.

Joel Yu, the point man of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña on business and economic development, said their initial plan to have the train service call center agents in the Cebu IT Park cannot push through since the roads there are too small.

“Our first problem is technical. The train is so big that it cannot pass through any roads. First, we have to find a road that can accommodate it,” Yu told Cebu Daily News.

He said they have tasked the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) to study possible routes where the road train, which is composed of five coaches and is at least 40 meters long, can ply through.

Though the road train can be shortened by taking out two or three coaches, Yu said he was told by technical experts from the DOST that it’s difficult to do since the vehicle’s system has already been programmed for five coaches.

Taking out some of the coaches would entail reprogramming, he added.

The road train arrived from Manila yesterday morning and is being kept at the CCTO’s impounding facility at the North Reclamation Area (NRA).

Yu said they hope to already find a feasible route so that the road train can already run by mid-February next year.

He said he was told that the technician who will assemble the vehicle will take up to four weeks to do so.

The technician will be coming to Cebu in January.

The road train can be used by commuters for free when it starts running.

Asked for his own suggestion, Yu said he wants the road train to ply from Talisay City in the south all the way to Mandaue City in the north, passing through the Cebu South Coastal Road (CSCR) in the South Road Properties (SRP) and the S. Osmeña Blvd. in the NRA.

But the problem is in finding an area at both end points where the road train can make a U-turn to go back to the other end.

“But the problem is the roads in IT Park are so small. It can also add up to the traffic in Salinas Drive,” he said.

He said though that the management of IT Park are talking with Ceres Bus Liners for a bus route from the north and south going to IT Park and the CBP for a minimal fare.
Sought for comment, CCTO executive director Rafael Yap told reporters that they will look into their earlier recommendations to DOST for possible routes where the road train can pass.

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