BAGUIO CITY — The Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the University of the Philippines – National Center for Transportation Studies (UP-NCTS) completed the feasibility study on the deployment of a locally developed mass transportation system technology in Baguio City and nearby La Trinidad, Benguet.

The study reveals that operating an Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) System as alternative mode of public transport is probable under a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) and Build–Operate–Transfer (BOT) Scheme.

The AGT is a Filipino-designed public transport system that may be a solution to the traffic problem of Baguio City and La Trinidad, Benguet.

For the area, a 5.2 kilometer railway is proposed to ferry 720 passengers in six coaches through the Balili River.

The study team observed problems in traffic management rules, smoke pollution, pedestrian-motorists conflicts, undisciplined drivers and pedestrians on the streets, lack of traffic enforcers to direct traffic especially along the Central Business District (CBD) during peak hours in the morning and afternoon.

In its report, there are at least 1,437 jeepneys registered with different routes travelling from Baguio City to La Trinidad and vice versa which the AGT system aims to address.

Estimated cost for the proposed AGT system is PhP1.348 billion including the six 120 seat coaches at PhP66 million per coach, the development cost of the 5.2 kilometer elevated track worth 1.122 billion, and developmental cost of the proposed 4 stations is worth PhP160 million.

As projected, the annual fare revenue for the 10-year period starting 2016 is PhP86.6 billion with an annual ridership of 30,860,561 which may grow to PhP159 billion with annual ridership of 56,636,258 by 2026.

Projected expansion of the AGT System will cover the Municipalities of Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay all in Benguet. PNA/