Operation Of Solar-Powered Pod Cable Cars In Baguio City Eyed

A local construction company affiliated with a United States-based developer of a solar-powered surface transportation system has offered to conduct a feasibility study on the operation of solar-powered cable cars in Baguio City.

City information office chief, Aileen Refuerzo, said Mayor Mauricio Domogan had received the unsolicited proposal of Ryanyx Construction and General Services, a local representative of US-based firm Transit X LLC, to do the study and determine the viability of operating “high-capacity solar-powered automated elevated pod networks” in the city.

The proposal was made by the local firm’s chairman and chief executive officer Rufino Barinan, said Refuerzo over the weekend.

She said the mayor had tasked the city legal office to draft a memorandum of agreement on the proposal.

Refuerzo said Domogan welcomed the proposal, which could offer a solution to Baguio City’s traffic and air pollution problems.

She said that based on the proposal, the study would be done at no cost to the city.

The local firm’s activity will include the identification of suitable areas for the alternative transport system and the acquisition of right-of-way easements and air rights.

The study will also cover the environmental impact assessment of the project, as well as the effect on the livelihood of public utility vehicle operators in the city.

The proposal described the Transit X transport system as “a suspended, ultra-narrow gauge rail network with ultralight pod vehicles and a 100-percent automated network that is high capacity and provides a non-stop single-set travel from origin to destination on an exclusive right-of-way”.

“The pods, each carrying between one and five people, quietly cruise above traffic suspended from a track and destinations are specified prior to boarding through mobile phone of Transit X kiosks,” the proposal read. “It is a fully automated transportation network with high-capacity interchanges that provide fast, congestion-free travel and has a minimal footprint on roads or sidewalks, often less area than streetlights and bus shelters.”

Refuerzo said a similar cable car proposal was received by Baguio City from a Swiss company many years back. The earlier proposal was supposed to be incorporated in the development of Camp John Hay, with the cable system running from the facility to Mt. Sto. Tomas down to Poro Point in San Fernando, La Union. The plan, however, fizzled out after the economic recession that hit many Asian countries then. (PNA)

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