Cebu City eyes cable cars to address traffic congestion

·3 min read

THE Cebu City Government sees the possibility of installing cable cars from the downtown area going to the hinterlands as a measure to mitigate the problem of traffic congestion.

The proposed Aerial Ropeway Transit (ART) will be discussed during the first mobility summit on Sept. 26 to 27, 2022.

Lawyer Kent Jongoy, executive assistant of Councilor James Cuenco who chairs the transportation committee, said the proposed project will also give a face to the modernization and Singapore-like vision of Mayor Michael Rama.

“Most of the people are going towards the highlands, so it is a very good development if we will have cable cars in going up,” said Jongoy.

He added that this proposed form of pubic transportation will also boost the tourism industry, especially in the highlands.

“It is better that we have alternative modes of transportation. Not only alternative but convenient, efficient mode of transportation,” said Jongoy.

Other forms of mass transportation like the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit system and the proposed monorail system will also be discussed during the summit.

Paul Gotiong, executive director of the Cebu City Transportation Office, said the summit will provide the City Government with different solutions to improve the traffic situation in the city.

According to Gotiong, they expect around 80 stakeholders to join the summit with representation also from the neighboring local government units of the city.

Gotiong said speakers from other countries will also share their best practices when it comes to public transportation and mobility.

The proposed interconnected motorcycle lanes will also be discussed during the summit, he added.

According to Gotiong, there is an increase in vehicles that are now plying the roads of the city, and now is the right time to discuss possible solutions to improve the flow of traffic.

“The volume really increased. We are also really pushing for the mass transport system because Cebu really needs it,” said Gotiong.

Gotiong said the summit will also tackle the recovery of sidewalks to ensure that people will be safe while walking on the street.

Earlier plans

It’s not the first time that Cebu City has considered putting up cable cars in Cebu.

In 1997, Balamban town mayor Alex Binghay proposed the construction of a cable car facility from Cebu City as part of a multi-million Eco-tourism Park Development Project in Mt. Manunggal, where President Ramon Magsaysay’s plane crashed in 1957.

In 2005, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Cebu Master Plan, which aimed to make Cebu the tourism and information and communications technology center of the Philippines, included a cable car system to offer a panoramic view of Cebu City by running from the foot of Nivel Hills in Lahug to Tops.

In 2007, then mayor Tomas Osmeña said he was negotiating with the Italian Government for the putting up of a P450 million cable car system that would ferry tourists from Barangay Taptap in Cebu City to Mt. Manunggal in Balamban town.

In 2014, Austrian company Dopplemayr Garaventa Group told the Cebu City Council that a cable car system to solve the city’s traffic problem would be cheaper than the bus rapid transit and trains because it needs less infrastructure.

The company said the cable cars would run at an average of 35 kilometers per hour, have low emissions and demand less land space.

However, Mayor Michael Rama said then that he had reservations about using cable cars as an alternative mode of mass transport because some people are afraid of heights.

He said cable cars might be more appropriate for recreation facilities. (IRT, CTL)