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Light Rail Transit public transport system proposed for Guam

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REPRESENTATIVES from an Asian company were on Guam last month to look into the possibility of building a Light Rail Transit system on the island – a mode of public transportation seen to alleviate traffic congestion on Marine Corps Drive.

Peter Alecxis Ada disclosed that a foreign executive and his chief engineer surveyed the island in September based on an invitation he extended in February 2012 at an economic summit in Taiwan. He refused to name the company and only said that he didn’t hear from the executive for over a year until in late July during which he was informed of their interest to look at the LRT system’s feasibility on Guam.

Ada also talked about the proposed project before University of Guam business law students on Monday, Oct. 7, when he was invited to talk about his experience at the Taiwan economic summit last year. “The first group to learn about it was UOG students at the business law class of attorneys Robert Cruz and Ron Aguon,” Ada said.

The light rail transit system, which is hoped to be built on a Public-Private-Partnership scheme, will be divided into several phases, according to Ada. He said the first phase will run from the Santos Memorial Park in Piti to the Micronesia Mall in Dededo.

The plan is for the first phase to have six stops at the intersections near Adelup, GCIC, Chief Kepuha, ITC, the airport, and the Micronesia Mall or the new hospital.

Asked about his role in the proposed transportation project – completely different from his background in public health administration – Ada said he is merely assisting the potential investors in their fact-finding mission on the island.

Opportunity

“The opportunity was there for me to talk to someone and I grabbed it. We saw the need for an alternative mode of public transportation and the opportunity was in front of me at that moment so I did what I had to do. I extended the invitation and didn’t hear from him for about a year and a half until a couple of months ago,” he said.

He pointed out that the proposed LRT project’s intention is to provide an alternative, more reliable system of public transportation for Guam residents to eventually decongest Marine Corps Drive. “I would like to emphasize that our goal is not to destroy the livelihood of taxi and tour bus drivers. I will not allow anyone to destroy their livelihood.”

Ada explained that the proposed Light Rail Transit could be an alternative to the current public transport system on Guam, which, he said, has been plagued with concerns about inconsistent frequency. He said Guam residents need a dependable mode of public transportation and an alternative way to move around.

“The island is not getting bigger and gas prices are not getting cheaper. An average Guam household has at least two cars and, as the population grows, our roads are going to get more congested. Some may say I am going overboard and that the government doesn’t have the money for such an undertaking. But the answer is the longer we wait, the more expensive it will get,” he said.

It will take about three years to complete building Phase One of the LRT system after construction kicks off. Once operational, it will have at least three coaches that can comfortably accommodate 70 to 120 passengers per cart.

“We hope to reach out to the community, particularly the business community because we want them to be involved in the process,” Ada said, also disclosing that they hope to present the LRT system proposal to appropriate government agencies, including Gov. Eddie Calvo, soon.

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