Megawide consortium to propose cable cars to ease Cebu traffic

Chrisee Dela Paz
Megawide consortium to propose cable cars to ease Cebu traffic
The development of a cable car system will only take '12 to 14 months,' as it has 'less infrastructure requirements like right of way,' says an official of the consortium

MANILA, Philippines – The consortium of listed builder Megawide Construction Corporation and Bangalore-based airport operator GMR Infrastructure Limited plans to propose a cable car system project to the government of Cebu to ease traffic woes in the city tagged as the worst metro area to drive in last year by Waze.

The group of Megawide and GMR, which operates and develops the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, last week said it plans to conduct a feasibility study on a cable car system in Cebu “with other investors,” which it will present to the local government.

“We have other investors who are interested… The first thing we want to do is to do some kind of feasibility study… The idea is to first introduce the concept to the local government and try to see whether we can get the appetite,” GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Consortium (GMCAC) chief executive adviser Andrew Acquaah Harrison told reporters.

According to the GMCAC official, the development of a cable car system will only take “12 to 14 months,” as it has “less infrastructure requirements like right of way.” (READ: Cable cars ‘not the answer’ for Metro Manila mass transit needs)

“The conventional system is to build rail, light rail, even BRT (bus rapid transit), but these become very difficult to integrate in terms of different ideas and concepts [of local government units]. One of the best solutions in this kind of complexity is cable car because you only need the footing,” Harrison said.

“It is quick to put up. Cost-wise, the cost of it is far more reasonable than rail so therefore, the usage charges are far more reasonable,” he added.

Airports to resorts

GMCAC said it wants the cable car system to initially start in Mactan “so that people specifically going to the strip way [where] you have all the resorts, could travel by cable cars.”

“It will connect the airport to the resorts and some of the main interchange points and then, you’ll extend it,” Harrison said.

Traffic and navigating app Waze in 2016 tagged Cebu as the worst city to drive in after it received a 1.15 rating from surveyed drivers. 

“We need a lead time to really think about solutions rather than waiting for 3 to 4 years until we are in a Manila-like situation…Today, right of way issues, trying to get the land, etcetera, it’s very complicated. So we are really proposing this,” Harrison said.

The Cebu government and the Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corporation officials broke ground last Thursday, March 2, for the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway seen to help decongest Metro Cebu traffic.

The P28-billion, 8.2-kilometer toll bridge will connect Cordova town in Mactan Island and Cebu City. Metro Pacific aims to start construction this July and finish the project in 2020. –

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