A 160-capacity light hybrid road train will soon be plying the main roads of Clark Freeport as one of the means to address the transportation needs of the increasing number of workers inside the area.
This developed after the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Clark Development Corporation (CDC) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for the use of the light hybrid road train inside the freeport.
The MOA was signed at CDC Office of the President on Sept. 22.
Alveen H. Tabag, CDC vice president for engineering services, said the light hybrid road train is set to undergo functional and performance testing starting next month. The testing will involve plying and maneuvering the main thoroughfares of the freeport before actual operations with commuting public.
The state-run firm has allotted P1 million for the whole undertaking that would run for one year. Drivers? salary, operational expenses and maintenance during the interim operation will be shouldered by CDC. The driver of the train would come from CDC pool of drivers that would undergo training in DOST.
The bus-like train would ferry passengers for free in December 2015 in time for the holidays.
?Commuters in Clark can also avail of the ?smart? commute free of charge for a certain period of time as Wi-Fi and GPS will be installed in the train,? Tabag added.
?Nung ni-launched nga ng DOST yung road train, dun natin nakita yung potential na pwede nating i-adopt for said objectives (reliable, economical, eco-friendly and smart). We work out to have a MOA with DOST,? he said.
?The DOST offered to lend CDC the unit (light hybrid road train)? Tabag said.
Dr. Rio S. Pagtalunan, division chief for analysis and testing said the light hybrid train is the smaller version the hybrid electric road train that was tested for road-worthiness last June 25 inside the freeport.
It will still have five coaches linked to one another. One coach is dedicated for the engine and power mechanisms and instruments, while the other four coaches can each accommodate 40-45 passengers.
Pagtalunan noted the facilities in Clark especially the viable road network that will enable them to test the maximum speed of the road train. He said that the features of Clark?s road network are not available in Metro Manila.
Made by Filipino-engineers, the bus-like train can run with a maximum speed of 50kph. It is mainly powered by hybrid diesel fuel and electric-powered battery. Moreover, the train is designed to be energy-efficient, Pagtalunan said.
The project leader from the DOST also said this newest Filipino innovation also produces less smoke emission compared with existing mass transport vehicles, making it an eco-friendly mode of transport.
The DOST developed the road train as an alternative means of public commute to answer the mass transportation dilemma in highly urbanized cities.