DOTr begins France-funded study for Metro Manila cable car system

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Wednesday, November 14, officially started the feasibility study for the proposed Metro Manila cable car system.

The French government extended a €450,000 grant, or about P27 million, for the feasibility study, with the DOTr expected to identify possible areas in Metro Manila for the implementation of the project.

The first technical working group meeting happened on Wednesday as well, after the kickoff program at the DOTr office in Clark, Pampanga.

The program was attended by French Ambassador to the Philippines Nicolas Galey, French Embassy Economic Counselor Laurent Estrade, and Philippine transportation and economic officials.

"The construction of an urban cable car system in Manila is an exciting prospect for the French government, and [we are] very happy to be able to support the Philippine government in studying the most efficient way to include this mode of transport in Metro Manila's transport network," Galey said during the program.

The feasibility study will run for 10 months. It will be done by French firms MDP Consulting and Systra, both with international expertise in transport infrastructure and cable car systems.

'Basket of solutions'

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade acknowledged that there is "not one solution" to address the traffic in Metro Manila.

"Admittedly, not one system can solve the situation of transportation and traffic in the Philippines. Not a cable system alone can solve the problems; it has got to be a basket of solutions, procedures, and systems, and one of those baskets is certainly cable," Tugade said.

The feasibility study will have 3 stages:

Tugade also said a cable car system should be considered for other areas outside Metro Manila, particularly La Union to Baguio City and Caticlan to Boracay, for tourism purposes.

The DOTr said the implementation of the project would proceed depending on the results of the study.

As early as 2016 when Tugade assumed office, he had already expressed interest in implementing a cable car system in Metro Manila to address its transportation woes.

He cited the experience in Bolivia, where the world's largest system of cable cars ferries passengers from the city of La Paz to neighboring El Alto through an 11-kilometer gondola system. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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