GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/15 November) — The Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) innovative “train-like bus” dubbed Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT) made its maiden demonstration run on Wednesday morning in major roads here.
Dominador Lagare Jr., chair of the city council’s committee on transportation, said the initial road test is part of the ongoing preparations for the road train’s formal trial run that could stretch to at least five months.
The HERT’s road test, which started past 9 a.m. at the oval plaza, covered the city’s main inner roads and the national highway going to Barangays Katangawan and Tinagacan.
The passengers were composed of city officials and personnel led by Vice Mayor Shirlyn Banas-Nograles and media practitioners.
Lagare said it will make another road test next week from the city proper to the city fish port complex in Barangay Tambler.
He said they have no timetable yet as to the start of the formal trial run noting it would depend on the road tests.
“After the initial road tests, the actual trial run will immediately proceed,” he told reporters.
During the road train’s stops in Barangays Katangawan and Tinagacan, Lagare said they asked the barangay councils for the list of passengers who would participate in the trial run.
Since the HERT is still on trial run, he said the passengers were pre-selected by the DOST and the local government.
The road train, which arrived late last month following a six-month test run in Cebu City, will cover a total of 17 stops along the national highway from Barangay Tinagacan to the city fishport complex in Barangay Tambler.
It will take off at 4 a.m. in front of the Tinagacan Elementary School and will mainly cater to teachers, fishport and tuna canning workers in four round trips daily, with two in the morning and two in the afternoon.
The HERT, which was developed by DOST’s Metals Industry Research and Development Center, is a “40-meter long train-like bus” that can run at a maximum speed of 50 kilometers per hour and is powered by hybrid diesel fuel and electric-powered battery.
The train consists of five interlinked air-conditioned coaches that can hold up to 240 passengers per trip.
It is powered by a generator set and a series of batteries, with each coach driven by an electric drive motor. (MindaNews)