DOST, UP in talks for extending AGT rails to Aurora Blvd in Quezon City

DAVAO, Nov. 15 (PNA) -– The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman are in talks for possible extension of the Automated Guideway Train rails up to Aurora Boulevard.

”We have a serious discussion with UP to extend the AGT, reaching up to Aurora Boulevard. Very serious, very positive, but not final,” DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said Thursday in a press conference at the Mindanao DOST Cluster – Science and Technology Fair in Davao City.

The AGT is a locally manufactured rapid mass transit system, being developed by the Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) under the DOST, that is similar to the Metro-Rail Transit (MRT) and Light-Rail Transit (LRT).

The route is projected to pass through the Katipunan area, namely along the schools of Miriam College, Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU).

Montejo added that talks will be planned between Quezon City and the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) upon extending the train’s route to Aurora Boulevard.

”If it will expand to Aurora, we’ll have to talk with Miriam, Ateneo, Quezon City and of course DOTC,” Montejo told PNA at the sidelines of the Mindanao DOST Cluster – Science and Technology Fair.

The proposed route will cater to the transportation needs to many students along the Katipunan area, due to its route through the universities of U.P, Miriam College and ADMU.

It will also decongest the traffic-build up in the Katipunan area, in which most students are brought and fetched by privately-owned cars.

Moreover, the DOST head said that the route will provide an efficient and at the same time affordable plan, through utilize a single railroad track, installing switching apparatus on the various stations.

”One track only, but it will serve two directions, using switches,” he said.

However, the secretary said that there is no target date yet for the implementation, adding that there’s no signing yet.

The 465 metered U.P. AGT, which has recently modified its coaches, cost DOST Php 65.15 million.

Also being studied for expansion, is the Bicutan-AGT route to C-6, which was receptive within the DOST community, according to Montejo. Another meeting will be held soon to decide the fate of the said route.

He further explained the Bicutan expansion will be implemented easier, since it will only need to expand the railway by 1.5 kilometers (kms). It is currently 372 meters long, amounting to Php 10 million.

But, before the Bicutan route will be expanded, he pointed out that the U.P. line will be prioritized by the DOST first.

The locally developed train has the ability to run through electricity and diesel, through generator sets, which makes it dependable during electrical supply shortages.

Also, through not using overhead cable wires, the AGT can dodge the effects of thunder to a regular LRT or MRT unit that stops when hit.

Lastly, since it is locally made, it does not have to be maintained long as spare parts can be found easily. (PNA)