CARMELA G. LAPEÑA
Philippine Railways on Sunday announced the arrival of the new University of the Philippines train, which will be used in the first Filipino-built Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) System within the Diliman campus in Quezon City.
The blue and white train bears the logo of the Department of Science and Technology as well as the University logo on one side.
DOST is in charge of the design and detailed engineering plan of the AGT, while UP gives technical assistance and implements community relations activities, a previous report said.
The DOST and UP will conduct test runs of the train on a 500-meter elevated concrete track, according to a report by Anna Kristine Regidor on the UP website.
If the results are favorable, the AGT prototype may be designed to run throughout the entire UP Diliman campus, the report said, adding that the next phase of the project is an intracampus loop that will run approximately 6.9 kilometers.
"Ikot jeepneys" are the most common mode of transportation around the 493-hectare campus.
Moreover, the report said the DOST created an earlier prototype of the AGT in Bicutan, using a straight 150-meter track. The UP Diliman campus is a chance to test the system on a curved and circular track.
President Benigno Aquino III cited the project in his State of the Nation Address in July 2011.
According to the president, the monorail system "could potentially provide a home grown mass transport solution that would cost us as little as 100 million pesos per kilometer, much cheaper than the current cost of similar mass transit systems."
"The potential savings could result in more kilometers of cheap transport, decongesting our urban centers and allowing rural communities easier access to centers of commerce and industry," Aquino said.
Aside from serving the UP Diliman community, the AGT is expected to be a harbinger of the future of mass transport systems developed and made locally by Filipinos, an earlier report said. — LBG, GMA News