MANILA, Philippines --- A "Road Train" that can transport more commuters than the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) is being developed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), with a prototype expected in September, 2013.
The DOST conceived of the Road Train as it continued to test the Automated Guideway System (AGT) on an elevated rail line at the campus of the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City.
Another train in an elevated track is also being pushed by the DOST, starting in front of the DOST head office all the way to Laguna.
Without giving much details, DOST Secretary Mario Montejo revealed the plans for the Road Train at the opening day on Friday of the "Innovation Congress" or ICON at Bonifacio Global City.
DOST and Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID), headed by president Fe Agudo, co-organized ICON until April 7.
Montejo said it is the task of the DOST to leverage science and technology (S&T) to create new and better products, processes, services, and systems" to improve the lives of Filipinos.
Montejo said the planned Road Train will have a dedicated track, but can also travel using vehicles' ordinary wheels in Metro Manila roads.
It will have an average speed of 30 kilometers per hour, and trains coming after each other at every 1.5 minutes, he said.
"There will be four couches in every Road Train, each couch capable of having 120 passengers for a total of 480 people," said Montejo.
"While MRT accommodates about 500,000 passengers a day, the Road Train will have some 652,800 commuters and run 17 hours a day," he said.
Filipinos are behind the making of the Road Train, he added.
He said innovation without action is empty and not capable of addressing the countless challenges that Filipinos face.