NEDA asked to fund feasibility study for AGT project

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BAGUIO CITY  – The Cordillera office of the Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR) approved a resolution endorsing the funding of the Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay (BLISTT) Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) system feasibility study (FS) from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) central office funds.

The region’s policy-making body stated that there is a need for a full blown feasibility study to indisputably show that the AGT system in the BLISTT growth area is a viable investment for potential investors.

Earlier, the Cordillera office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-CAR) requested NEDA-CAR to conduct an evaluation of the pre-feasibility study on the AGT for Baguio and La Trinidad and the evaluation revealed that in-depth financial and economic analysis and detailed engineering design are still required which necessitates a full blown feasibility study for the construction of the environmentally-friendly transport system.

“The proposed feasibility will now include the whole BLISTT area instead of just Baguio and La Trinidad,” the RDC-CAR resolution stated.

It can be recalled that the Traffic and Transport Planners, Inc. completed the pre-feasibility study of the AGT system in October 2015 which was also funded by the DOST-CAR.

The study, entitled “Study on the Feasibility of Deploying DOST-Developed Mass Transport Transportation Technologies in Baguio City and Benguet (La Trinidad)” looked into the possibility of deploying the AGT system technology that features an electric, driverless, fully automated guide way transit system running on an elevated monorail and rubber tires in both sites.

The DOST has certified that the AGT is an environmentally-friendly and sustainable transport technology that could significantly reduce air pollution and traffic congestions between Baguio and La Trinidad and provide an integrated and efficient transport network between and among BLISTT municipalities.

The AGT system project has been included as a priority development project under the revalidated Regional Development Investment Plan (RDIP) for the period 2014-2016, thus, it could quality for the feasibility study funding support from the NEDA central office, among other funding agencies.

The 5.2-kilometer La Trinidad-to-city-limit component of the monorail project has a total cost of around P4 billion while the 2.1-kilometer Baguio section of the project from the Slaughterhouse Compound up to the Luneta Hill area is estimated to cost P3 billion.

The BLISTT local governments recently agreed to have common projects in order to address common problems such as garbage disposal, traffic congestion, tourism development, environmental preservation and protection, infrastructure development, among other concerns that would improve mobility and provide convenience among local residents and visitors alike.

By Dexter A. See

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