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UP breaks ground on rail system

[ ] July 18, 2011

A LOCALLY developed automated guideway system will be built inside the UP Diliman in Quezon City, consisting of two 60-passenger electric coaches running on one track, the university said Friday.

The school’s officials and those from the Science and Transport Departments are scheduled to sign an agreement this morning making the Diliman campus the site of the prototype, which could be used as a model for other urban centers.

Senator Edgardo Angara, former UP president, Science Secretary Mario Montejo, and Transport Secretary Mar Roxas are expected to attend the groundbreaking shortly after the agreement is signed.

The prototype will have 500 meters of track between two stations—one on C.P. Garcia Avenue and the other on Jacinto Street near the College of Fine Arts—said Danilo Arao, the university’s assistant vice president for public affairs.

The project’s timetable was still subject to study, he said.

Earlier, Montejo said the cost of studying and creating a local automated guideway system would be only a fifth of the cost of importing a unit.

“The prototype at UP will therefore not only serve as a means for UP faculty, students and staff as conveyance around the campus, but also as a view into the future of Filipino-made mass transport systems,” he said.

In January, Montejo said a monorail would eventually complement the jeepney shuttle service plying the 493-hectare Diliman campus, which has a student population exceeding 23,000.

Arao told the Manila Standard on Sunday, however, that jeepney drivers would be consulted before such a system was built, and that the prototype would not displace any residents or squatters on campus.

Some P50 million had been earmarked for the project, including the construction of a 500-meter test track, he said.

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