Test run of UP-Diliman mass transit system set next week

The government will conduct a test run of the first Filipino-built Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) System within the UP-Diliman campus next week, according to a report on GMA News Tv's News to Go.

Assistant Secretary Bob Dizon of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said the AGT System is seen to address traffic problems in the area.

"Ang objective naman talaga ng any mass transport system ay mapagaan ang traffic natin, so ito ‘yung nakitang solution ng DOST sa traffic problem natin," Dizon said in an interview with News to Go anchor Kara David on Monday.

Two trains that arrived last Sunday will be tested on a 500-meter elevated track.

According to a report on the UP website, the test run will feature a number of stages, including the careful testing of the structural integrity of the elevated railway, power supply reliability, automatic safety system, car reliability and safety.

Dizon said the AGT System is not intended to replace the iconic “ikot” and “toki” jeepneys that go around the UP-Diliman campus. Rather, it is envisioned to become a “feeder system” for the existing mass transport systems like the MRT.

"Hindi ito dinesign for UP,” Dizon said. “Ang ini-envision nga namin dito maging feeder system siya ng mga MRT natin.”

“So from a certain community para makarating ‘yung mga tao natin to the MRT, puwedeng ito 'yung sakyan nila, imbes na mag jeep or mag-tricycle," he added.

Like the MRT, the AGT trains run on electricity, thus helping lessen air pollution. The trains also cost less, as they are not imported. Even the materials used are locally sourced.

President Benigno Aquino III cited the project in his State of the Nation Address in July 2011.

Aquino said the monorail system "could potentially provide a homegrown mass transport solution that would cost us as little as P100 million per kilometer, much cheaper than the current cost of similar mass transit systems." — Carmela G. Lapeña/KBK, GMA News

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