GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/17 November) — City officials are looking at the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) innovative “train-like bus” dubbed Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT) as a viable option for the city’s planned mass transportation system.
City Councilor Shandee Llido-Pestano said Friday the city government could utilize the road train as alternative mode of public transportation for residents of remote communities within the city’s 26 barangays.
The HERT finally made its maiden road test in major streets and highways here last Wednesday in preparation for its upcoming trial run.
Pestano was among the city officials who joined the road train’s initial demonstration run from the city’s oval plaza to Barangays Katangawan and Tinagacan.
“It would be a viable alternative transport that will really benefit our constituents as its operations will cover some remote barangays in the city,” she said in a statement.
For the formal test run, which is targeted to begin before the end of the month, the road train will cover a total of 17 stops along the national highway from Barangay Tinagacan to the city fishport complex in Barangay Tambler.
It will take off at 4 a.m. in front of the Tinagacan Elementary School and will mainly cater to teachers, fishport and tuna canning workers in four round trips daily, with two in the morning and two in the afternoon.
Pestano lauded the DOST for moving the HERT’s test run to the city following a six-month trial in Cebu City.
The HERT, which was developed by DOST’s Metals Industry Research and Development Center, is a “40-meter long train-like bus” that can run at a maximum speed of 50 kilometers per hour and is powered by hybrid diesel fuel and electric-powered battery.
The train consists of five interlinked air-conditioned coaches that can hold up to 240 passengers per trip.
It is powered by a generator set and a series of batteries, with each coach driven by an electric drive motor.
“It is an environment-friendlier mode of transportation compared to the common transport vehicles that we have. Emission of smoke is less and it is tested and proven to be commuter – friendly,” said Vice Mayor Shirlyn Banas-Nograles, who also joined the test run.
Nograles expressed support to the possible turnover of the road train to the local government after the test run.
DOST officials had signified to donate the HERT to the city government should the latter decide to eventually adopt it. (MindaNews)