P11.5B Baguio mass transport solution proposed

BAGUIO CITY – 16 February 2021 – A multinational holdings company is proposing to the local government an P11.5 billion mass transport project composed of a 4-kilometer elevated monorail around the central business district area and a series of feeder lines to be composed of battery-powered buses in an aim to make Baguio City the first urban center to pilot the green ecosystem and electric-powered monorail system.

The prosed monorail project will consist eight strategic stations around the central business district which will be powered by electricity and some 300 battery-powered buses that will service the transportation requirements of the residents from their residences to the monorail stations and to their places of work.

Robert John Sobrepen֮a, chairman of the Metro Global Holdings Corporation, stated that the project will be inclusive of all the sectors involved in the city’s public mass transportation to ensure alignment with existing policies.

He informed city officials during Monday’s executive-legislative meeting that the initial estimates for the project was a product of a pre-feasibility that was conducted by the company.

The company was authorized by the city government to conduct a pre-feasibility study for the proposed mass public transportation solution to help address the worsening traffic problem, air and noise pollution with the goal of bringing back the city’s greenery through various environmental programs and projects.

“The project will be fully funded by the company through the public-private partnership over a 50-year period of the franchise,” Sobrepen֮a said.

Under the company’s proposal, the local government will be entitled to a five percent of the fixed fare that will be collected from the single use ticket system.

For his part, Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong urged the company to submit its unsolicited proposal for the immediate evaluation and assessment by the city’s Public Private Partnership for the People – Selection Committee.

He added that the proponent should also consider the public utility drivers who will be directly impacted by the implementation of the proposed project. He emphasized that proposed project should be inclusive and include in the plan the plight of public utility vehicle drivers to ensure that they will not be displaced by the project in the future.

He claimed that there are also other companies that have made similar proposals to the local government in the past, thus, the same will be subjected to evaluation and assessment by the city’s P4 committee once there will be an unsolicited proposal that will be submitted for the said purpose. – Dexter A. See