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DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A study assisted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) proposed a multi-billion peso train system for Davao City to meet the rising mobility demands of Mindanao’s trading hub.
The study called IM4 Davao was prepared by ALMEC Corporation, Oriental Consultants Global Co., Ltd, and EX Research Institute Ltd.
The plan proposed the mass transit’s main 15-kilometer line would begin at Talomo in the south, stretching to J.P. Laurel. The next phase of the project would also include another line extending the southernmost Talomo station to Toril by 6.6 kilometers.
The study also recommended to connect the system to the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in the long haul “depending on demand.”
Though it has said that it is interested in a railway system, the Davao City government has yet to plan such a project.
“If there’s a viable private proposal, or proposal coming from the private sector, the city is willing and ready to sit down with them,” Tristan Dwight Domingo, the city’s assistant city administrator, told reporters on Tuesday, April 24..
Prior to the release of the report, key officials from the city government were in Japan last week in a JICA-sponsored trip that took them to a series of lessons on urban planning.
The mass transit study followed after a series of surveys, workshops, and consultation meetings which began in January 2017.
Apart from recommending a railway system, the study also gave proposals to help the city improve its safety from disasters and urban conditions. The report also provided economic analysis on the proposed transport projects, apart from water supply, wastewater management, and solid waste management projects.
Davao City has seen a rapid urbanization for the past few years. In 2015, the Philippine Statistics Authority said its population reached 1.6 million, compared to 0.7 million in 1985.
JICA estimates the railway project to cost some $684.1 million, covering viaducts, stations, system works, depot, railcars, right-of-way, and engineering services.
It also proposed that the transit line could be connected to the ongoing Mindanao Railway project.
Davao City for the past few years floated the idea of building a rail transit within the city. Recently though it showed more interest in creating a highly-prioritized bus system, with its technical design still with the Asian Development Bank. – Rappler.com