The Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT), a mass transportation technology developed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), is soon going to be used in the province of Cotabato.
The provincial government of Cotabato signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the DOST’s Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) and the DOST Regional Office XII last July 3 at the Tuburan Hall in Amas, Kidapawan City for the adoption of the HERT.
As a prelude to Cotabato’s adoption and utilization of the HERT, the provincial government, DOST XII, and DOST-MIRDC will conduct test runs of the HERT along the roads of Cotabato, with options to re-engineer or modify existing roads to ensure its smooth operation in the area.
The DOST-MIRDC will train identified personnel from the province to ensure the sustainability of operating and maintaining the HERT.
The HERT is specially designed as an alternative to mass transport systems — its five interlinked coaches has a total length of 45 meters that can carry up to 240 passengers.
It is powered by a combination of diesel fuel and electric-powered batteries. It also features a regenerative brake system, which makes the technology environment friendly.
However, transportation expert Rene Santiago noted that the HERT has not yet been adopted widely despite being launched in 2014 or nine years ago. The reason for this, Santiago said, is its overly long length.
“The five interlinked coaches would create too much vibration. In other countries, the maximum number of coaches is three because they know that passengers wouldn’t be comfortable riding if the coaches would exceed that number,” he said in a previous interview.
The HERT will be adopted for use by the provincial government of Cotabato after the completion of the dry run, training, and technology transfer. As such, the HERT is expected to be seen traversing Cotabato’s roads by 2024.
In addition, a task force will be created to conduct research on the socio-economic impact of the adoption of the HERT to the province of Cotabato.