Monorail eyed as main feature of Cebu integrated transport system

CEBU CITY — Davao-based business group Udenna Corp.’s proposed monorail system will be the main feature of the Integrated Inter-modal Transport System (IITS) in Cebu, a top government official said on Monday, May 3.

File photo shows the DOST’s Automated Guideway Transit or AGT in UP Diliman in 2012. The project has not been adopted commercially.

Michael Lloyd Dino, chief of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV), said the monorail system will serve as the mass transport backbone of Metro Cebu, and will become the main element of the Cebu IITS project of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

“The Duterte administration is determined to give the Cebuanos a sigh of relief against the long-standing traffic problem in Cebu. Such determination will be operationalized through this monorail project of Udenna (Infrastructure Corp.) of Mr. Dennis Uy,” said Dino in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Last week, Udenna Corp. announced that it revised its earlier proposal to build Light Rail Transit (LRT) project for Metro Cebu, and proposed to implement the Cebu Rail Project using the monorail technology.

Udenna and its foreign partners obtained an original proponent status (OPS) from the DOTr for the project.

Goddes Hope Libiran, spokesperson of DOTr, confirmed to PNA that the monorail project “is really a part of the IITS.”

Aside from the monorail, other components of DOTr’s Cebu IITS will include the high priority bus system, P2P (point-to-point) bus system, and intelligence traffic management system.

Dino said monorail has a distinctive technology that is fast to construct, and has the same passenger-carrying capacity and operational efficiency with that of the LRT system.

“Among monorail’s plausible feature is its cost for its construction. With P80 billion or half of the LRT’s cost, Metro Cebu will enjoy a mass transport backbone using the monorail technology,” Dino noted.

Udenna also proposed a monorail project for Davao City’s Poblacion District, which will run in an elevated rail system along the center line of its existing roads.

Accordingly, Davao’s monorail project will have an initial capacity of 2,200 passengers per hour per direction, which could be expanded from 6,000 to 30,000.

The top presidential aide for the Visayas said as a technology, monorail will have “more or less the same carrying capacity of an LRT.”

He also mentioned successful monorail systems abroad like the one in Disneyland in Florida and in California.

Dino said Japan has earned the distinction of having the world’s most transit monorails existing, eight of which are full-scale urban transit systems.

Aside from US and Japan, monorails have also been a transport system in Malaysia, Europe, Russia, Korea, China, Brazil, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore, Dino said.

“It’s high time to be at par with those countries. And with the new leadership in Cebu province and the City of Cebu, I am confident that monorail will take a center stage of Cebu’s development. Let’s make Cebu number one again,” he said. — John Rey Saavedra (PNA)

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