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France gives PH grant for study on cable car system

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The government of France has provided financial aid for a feasibility study on the implementation of the first urban cable car project in the Philippines, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Wednesday.

In a statement, the department said the initiative was formalized through a launch held at its office in Clark, Pampanga, attended by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, French Ambassador Nicolas Galey, transportation officials and representatives of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

“The construction of an urban cable car system in Manila is certainly an exciting prospect, and the French government is very happy to be able to support the Philippine government in getting the most efficient way to include this mode of transportation in Metro Manila’s transport network,” Galey said.

The DOTr said France has provided a grant amounting to 450,000 euros or PHP27 million for a 10-month study on the creation of an urban cable car system in Metro Manila, which will be conducted by French consulting firms MDP Consulting & Systra, both with international expertise in transport infrastructure and cable car systems.

Tugade, meanwhile, said a cable car system is part of a “basket of solutions” to address the traffic situation in the country.

“We are gathered here to address the issue of transportation and traffic that is happening in the country today. Admittedly, not one system can solve the situation of transportation and traffic in the Philippines. Not a cable system alone can solve the problems; it has got to be a basket of solutions, procedures, and systems, and one of those baskets is certainly cable,” Tugade said.

The feasibility will consist of three phases: identification of potential cable car corridor; comparison of the corridors and selection of the best cable car alignment; and the full feasibility study, which will determine if the project is technically, financially, and economically feasible.

Tugade is pushing for the consideration of La Union-Baguio and Caticlan-Boracay as prospective routes for the cable car system to promote tourism in those areas.

The implementation of the cable car project will depend on the results of the study.

Before assuming office in June 2016, Tugade proposed that a cable car system be set up as one of the measures to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

He said the Philippines should consider the experience of Bolivia that uses cable cars to help address the country’s traffic situation.

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