Baguio, DOTR exploring alternative transport programs for Baguio

The city government and the Dept. of Transportation are exploring alternative transportation programs to ease the traffic problem in the city.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong in the Executive-Legislative meeting Sept. 23 announced that DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade offered for the city to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the department for the pursuit of a cable car system from Pugo in La Union to Baguio.

The mayor who met with the secretary last week said Tugade instructed Undersecretary Mark Richmund De Leon to fast track the deal for the project which Tugade first broached in 2016.

Conceptual designs for the project, the first in the country, will be provided to the city for review prior to the forging of the agreement.

The cable car system was reportedly the subject of a P26 million feasibility study funded by the French government targeted for completion this year.

Apart from Baguio, another target site for the project is the Pasig River.

The mayor said Tugade also expressed willingness to help the city should it decide to pursue the monorail project.

It will be recalled that a multi-billion monorail project had been proposed between the city and La Trinidad town in Benguet by the Department of Science and Technology-Cordillera.

A pre-feasibility study showed that the 5.2-kilometer line of the Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) from the provincial capital to the Slaughterhouse Compound in Baguio would require P3.8 billion while the 2.1-kilometer AGT line from the Bonifacio rotunda up to the SM City Baguio passing through the central business district area will cost approximately P2.9 billion.

The project was presented to the Regional Development Council (RDC) in 2017.

Magalong said the city will also submit an expression of interest (EOI) as potential pilot project site for Low Carbon Urban Transport Systems in the Philippines Project of the DOTr.

In a letter to the mayor, Undersecretary De Leon said the LCUTS is “one of the projects of the DOTr in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which aims to promote sustainable transportation system in the country through the creation of an enabling environment for both motorized and non-motorized low carbon alternatives.”

Local government unit grantees must be willing to join the project through and EOI or a resolution of support from the city council and must have a draft Local Public Transport Rationalization Plan (LPTRP) and an accredited transport cooperative or fleet operator with potential to implement the project of the LGU.

As a grantee of the project, the LGU will be aided in the following: development of guidelines or ordinance on low carbon transport systems with support infrastructures like charging station locations and right-of-way; formulation of Public Utility Vehicle Transport Plan; development of expertise in local universities to provide advisory support to the LGU; and provide encouragement to private sectors to provide support or investment on the project. BAGUIO.GOV.PH