Cebu to have LRT subway-elevated system

A CONSORTIUM of local and foreign companies is working closely with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to build the Metro Cebu Light Rail Transit (Cebu LRT) through a design-finance-build-transfer and manage project.

Chris Kou, the consortium’s representative and project developer, said the proposal is to build an elevated LRT with a subway section in the central business district of Cebu City.

Kou said the realization of LRT is important as it is an efficient and convenient mass transport system in Cebu.

Tjen Hian Ka, the consortium’s senior consultant, said the process with DOTr started in the last quarter of 2017.

They expect to complete the process with DOTr this year, and after the completion of permits and other documentations, the construction may start in the first quarter of 2019.

Both Kou and Tjen said Cebu LRT will be funded by One Belt, One Road program of the Chinese Government, supported by Chinese companies Guangzhou Metro China, Guangzhou Metro and Design Institute China, Anhui Shenyun Environmental Protection Group Co. (China), Guangdong Hydropower Co. Ltd. (China), Harvest Global Investment Pte Ltd. (Singapore) and Sinophile Sheng Yun Management Inc. (Philippines).

Kou assured the Cebuano community that Cebu LRT will be constructed with minimum disruption to traffic. This project will be implemented in two phases.

“There will be two lines under Phase 1 that will cover the Metro Cebu area that comprises central line and airport line with a bridge crossing from Cebu’s mainland to Mactan Island,” Kou said.

“Phase 1 will also provide research, development, and technical support center for building local skills related to rail eco-system,” Kou added.

Engr. Manuel Jamonir, business development manager of Udenna Infrastructure Corp., said the Cebu LRT Phase 1 will cover the entire Metro Cebu as it will stretch from Carcar City to Danao City.

For the first time, Jamonir said Cebu City will have a rail transport that will run in a subway system. Beyond Cebu City, the LRT will go above ground to minimize use of the existing roads for the columns of the rail system infrastructure.

Jamonir said the rail transport system for Cebu will benefit its 2.8 million population at no cost to the government, without government guarantee, and will be of high quality.

Kou said that Phase 2 will be a commuter rail for greater Cebu, which will be implemented subject to economic, population, future modern transport needs, and other factors.

Kou said that Tjen’s group will consider the estimated ridership for the next 50 years as well as the current road networks.

“In the implementation stage, we have to see to it that disturbance is less and inconvenience to existing road users and residents in the metropolis is prevented,” Kou said.

Cebu LRT’s first phase will be constructed within the shortest possible time, with all site works targeted for completion by 2022, he said. (EOB, PRM)