GenSan wants DOST’s electric ‘train’ to help ease traffic

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 15 March) – In a bid to ease the city’s traffic problems, officials are pushing for the temporary deployment here of the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) innovative Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT), a “40-meter long train-like bus.”

City Councilor Dominador Lagare Jr., chair of the city council’s committee on transportation, said the local government is currently working on signing an agreement with the DOST for the deployment and use of the HERT in the area for at least six months.

He said the council has passed a resolution requesting the DOST’s Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRC) to enter into a contract of commodatum with the city government for the use of the HERT.

Commodatum is a “gratuitous contract” that allows a certain party to loan specific chattels for use, with the obligation to return them after an agreed period.

Citing initial talks with the DOST, Lagare said the city is next in line as destination of the HERT, which at present is deployed in Cebu City.

The train has been serving Cebu City commuters for free since Feb. 15 as part of its continuing test run.

“I think the contract with Cebu will end this April and after that, the DOST promised that the train will be sent here,” Lagare said.

He said the local government could use the HERT “for six months and for as long as we need it.”

The HERT, which was launched by DOST in 2015, was designed by Filipino engineers and made with locally available parts, an agency briefer said.

It said the “40-meter long train-like bus” can run at a maximum speed of 50 kilometers per hour and is mainly powered by hybrid diesel fuel and electric-powered battery.

The electric train was designed as energy-efficient vehicle and does not need electricity and suspended cables to operate.

Lagare said the deployment of the train will “ease” traffic problems in major routes in the city, especially during the rush hours.

“From what we’ve seen so far, it could be a solution to transport problems all over the country, especially here in the city,” he added. (MindaNews)