QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The inaugural ride of the country’s first guideway transit system got off to a rocky start.
President Benigno S Aquino III immediately called for improvements after taking a test ride on the automated guideway transit (AGT) in the University of the Philippines, Diliman on Monday, April 15.
According to Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario Montejo, the President found the ride “too bumpy.”
“Napansin namin na napansin din ni (President Aquino) na medyo makalog ang aming ride. Napansin din niya na medyo maalon yung track na napansin din namin. Napansin din niya na baka matakot ang mga pasahero (dahil dito).” (The President noticed that the ride was bumpy and the tracks were uneven. He thought that the passengers might be frightened.)
Aquino instructed the DOST to improve the ride quality of the train system and provide better accommodation, comfort and safety for its passengers.
“The third prototype will be more comfortable and (the quality of the ride will be) less harsh,” Montejo said.
The UP AGT system track is about 500 meters long, running between C.P. Garcia Avenue across from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) building to Jacinto St near the UP College of Fine Arts.
This flagship project of the DOST, in collaboration with the state university, is aimed at providing commuters with a cheaper and greener form of transportation. It is also intended to help decongest traffic in metropolitan centers and increase access to central business districts (CBDs).
The train is a “driverless” people mover, runs on rubber tires, and has two passenger coaches with a seating capacity of 60 persons per coach.
Constructed by Miescor Builders Inc at a cost of P55 million, the AGT is a purely Filipino venture, developed by local engineers using homegrown resources. – Rappler.com
Stephen J. Pedroza, 20, is a Rappler intern and a student at Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan.
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