By Dhel Nazario
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has high hopes that its cheaper hybrid electric train will be able replace its more expensive counterparts, and eliminate the country’s dependence on costlier foreign technology after its run on Wednesday.
The hybrid electric train was officially introduced through an inaugural run from the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Station in Alabang to Biñan, Laguna.
DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña rode the train together with members of the media which left at around 10:10 in the morning and arrived at the Biñan Station 30 minutes later. There, Secretary dela Peña led the ceremonial ribbon cutting and toast for the train set.
The 40-meter long train-like bus can run with a maximum speed of 50 kilometers per hour and is mainly powered by hybrid diesel fuel and an electric powered battery. The train also carries its own power source and does not need electricity through suspended cables to operate.
The train is much cheaper than its foreign counterparts because of the locally available parts, availability of local experts who can address should there be any concerns, cost-effectiveness, job generation, foreign exchange savings and potential export.
Dela Peña said he was hoping that the private sector adopts the mass transport system.
PNR Operations Department Manager Joseline Geronimo on the other hand, appealed to the public to be more disciplined in the road because PNR trains often encounter problems mostly due to unruly motor vehicle drivers that bar the tracks.
The train will be free to ride starting May 6 from Calamba to Alabang station as part of the 150-hour validation testing to simulate revenue service. It is set to serve a portion of an estimated 650,000 commuters a day on PNR. Geronimo.
Intelligent transport systems
According to DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Pena, “the problem of weak mass transport in the Philippines grow everyday as the number of passengers increase, and the roads and current transport systems as we know it, remain at a halt. A solution for this problem has been in the works from one government administration to another, since the 1970s. Until now, however, we are still yet to figure out an efficient and cost-effective solution towards a more accessible and hassle-free road. We at DOST, want to be part of that solution,” said Dela Pena.
He highlighted new transport projects that the department has supported. One of these was the Local Traffic Simulator or LocalSim, a microscopic traffic simulation software that is designed to be used by road and traffic engineers as a decision support system for effective traffic management.
The Detection and Identification of Legitimate Public Utility Vehicles (DILAW) is a system made up of devices that easily determine colorum vehicles.
Lastly, the Contactless Apprehension of Traffic Violators on 24-hour Basis, All Vehicle Detection System or CATCH-ALL is a camera-based traffic management system for traffic violations detection.