City signs MOU for LRT study
CEBU, Philippines — The private firm that will conduct a pre-investment study on the proposed light rail transit (LRT) system in Cebu vowed to finish the study within a year.
This was disclosed during the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Cebu City government and officials of Tranzen Group, Inc. which will conduct the study for the proposed LRT system.
“It has been noted that Metro Cebu is experiencing rapid motorization and an increasing population, leading to the congestion of its transport network. The most congested artery of which is from Talisay, to Cebu City, Mandaue City, and hence, to Consolacion, traversing the Cebu South Road, N. Bacalso, P. Del Rosario, M.J. Cuenco, and the Cebu North Road; necessitating the establishment of a mass transit system along this corridor which is 21 kilometers long, herein proposed as Cebu Light Rail Transit-Line 1,” reads portion of the MOU.
The conduct of the study is at no cost to the city government. Initially, the Japan International Cooperation Agency estimated the whole LRT project at P80 billion in 2015.
Mayor Tomas Osmeña said he endorsed the conduct of the study since the LRT will complement with the city’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.
“What Dino (Presidential Assistant for Visayas Michael Dino) wants to do is cancel the BRT in exchange for his LRT. The answer is no. I will not allow that to happen, cancel BRT for this one. That’s complementary. If that’s extra, it goes up to Consolacion to Danao,” the mayor said.
The first phase of the BRT will run from Barangay Bulacao to Natalio Bacalso Avenue, then to the South Road Properties, back to Natalio Bacalso Avenue, Osmeña Boulevard, Escario Street to Ayala Center, and then to Talamban.
Eldon Cruz, managing director of Tranzen, said that the Line 1 of LRT is an inter-city system which begins from Talisay City and traverses Cebu and Mandaue cities to Consolacion.
The LRT will be a 21-kilometer route with around 16 stations while BRT’s first phase includes a 23-kilometer route with 25 locations for the stations.
Cruz said that both the BRT and LRT would traverse a common section of around six kilometers from Bulacao to Osmena Boulevard along Natalio Bacalso Avenue.
In his speech, Cruz said the response of Osmeña was very encouraging when the former offered to submit an unsolicited proposal to study the LRT system in Cebu.
“Tranzen promises to do its best to submit the proposal within one year. We hope to likewise sign the same memorandum of understanding with the Province of Cebu, the City of Mandaue, and Talisay City and Municipality of Consolacion,” Cruz said.
He said Tranzen has formed a technical cooperation with Shimizu Corporation, Japan and Oriental Consultants Global, Japan, and local firms to prepare an unsolicited proposal with prior study of LRT.
In the MOU, the activities of Tranzen include the preparation of the full-blown feasibility study, completion off the unsolicited project proposal in accordance with the National Economic Development Authority’s committee, among other laws.
Other activities are the conduct of consultations among affected people and barangays; presentation of the project proposal to the city government for evaluation; transfer of technology to the city; among others.
The Cebu City will assist and support Tranzen in field survey activities and orderly traffic management; securing data with City Hall offices; assist in consultation; and create technical working groups for coordination purposes. (FREEMAN)