Tag Archives: brt

Bus Rapid Transit is Approved

The BRT system has been approved by the national government through National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and bidding will take place in the second quarter of 2015 for potential contractors responsible for building the system.

The estimated cost of construction is P10.618-billion.

brt

The Transportation Department said it is ready to bid out the P10.618-billion Cebu bus rapid transit system in the second quarter of 2015, after the mass transit project received the green light from the National Economic and Development Authority last week.

Cebu BRT, a project supported by the World Bank, involves the development of a dedicated bus way in Cebu that will serve over 330,000 passengers daily once it starts operations in 2015.

“We are pleased that we can now proceed with these projects. They will modernize our country’s transportation systems, and boost traveling convenience, safety, and efficiency for the people. Our hard work today will pay off tomorrow, which is why we now have to make sure that they will be bid out, awarded, and implemented at the soonest possible time,” Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said over the weekend.

The proposed project in Cebu will be the first BRT system in the Philippines. It will run on a 23-kilometer corridor with 33 stations where 176 high-quality buses will be deployed through dedicated and exclusive bus-ways from Bulacao to Talamban, with a link to Cebu’s South Road Property.

The Transportation Department said a detailed engineering design was currently being prepared for Cebu BRT. It said bidding for construction would start in the second quarter next year.

The second phase involves the supervision of the transit way and the supporting infrastructure during the construction.

The BRT system, which has been successful in other parts of the world, entails a segregated lane for buses, controlled dispatching, priority in stoplight signaling, fixed stops and various technical components. Buses run on fixed schedules, providing riders with greater reliability, efficiency and convenience.

Cebu BRT will be patterned after the BRT systems in Bogota in Colombia, Curitiba in Brazil, Seoul in South Korea and Guangzhou in China.

Another project approved by Neda last week was the P4.107-billion Busuanga airport to support the booming tourism industry in Palawan. The Transportation Department said it would first bid out the detailed engineering and design component of the project in the third quarter, then the construction component in second quarter next year.

The other project was Light Rail Transit Line 2 operations and maintenance, a public-private partnership project for the 10- to 15-year concession to operate and maintain the LRT-2 system. It will include the current 13.8-kilometer line from Recto to Santolan, as well as the 4.19-kilometer extension to Masinag in Rizal.

The project is expected to result in higher performance standards, improving train availability and punctuality. It will also ensure better system preservation covering the tracks, train coaches and other facilities.

Sunstar Daily also has its report.

Bus proposal for Cebu gains Support

Bus Rapid Transport Cebu City
Integrated Transport Planning Managing Director Colin Brader shows the flow of traffic around Fuente Osmeña once the Bus Rapid Transport system is in place. (Arni Aclao)

CEBU CITY — The Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system for this city is on its last two months of consultation before the feasibility study will be completed.

Colin Brader, the urban planner from Integrated Transport Planning, the consultancy firm for the BRT, told the Movement for Livable Cebu (MLC) that Osmeña Blvd. is the most feasible area for the system.

Brader made a presentation with MLC on Tuesday, following the group’s request that V. Rama be made the major street where the BRT will pass through.

Joel Lee of MLC explained that Osmeña Blvd. is a heritage and showcase area for Cebu City and that a mass transport system may destroy its view.

He cited as example the possibility that the view of the Capitol building facade might be blocked.

Destination
Brader showed MLC and a couple of other youth groups the difference between V. Rama and Osmeña Blvd. and the advantages of the latter.

For one, about 2,800 vehicles pass through Osmeña Blvd. compared to V. Rama’s 1,300. The latter is mostly residential while the former is more commercial.

MLC believes that because V. Rama is more of a residential area, then a good number of people will be serviced by the bus.

Brader, though, explained that it is not just about the starting point but also about the destination.

“The significance of Osmeña Blvd. is that it is a major destination,” he said.

The area also has the support of the barangay officials of Sambag I, Sambag II, Santa Cruz, San Antonio, Capitol Site and Camputhaw.

After consulting with MLC last Tuesday and the persons with disabilities last Monday, Brader and BRT point person Maricon Encabo of the Cebu City Government are set to consult the 14 barangays that will benefit from the project.

Brader said that so far, there has been no opposition to the program.

Downtown
Another important reason why Osmeña Blvd. is a better option, he said, is that using it for the BRT can help revitalize the downtown area, with Citilink as the ferry point. People will get down at Citilink and ride jeepneys to the downtown area.

The BRT is planned to start in Bulacao through N. Bacalso then turn to Osmeña Blvd., pass through Escario St. and go straight to Talamban.

As the feasibility study is expected to be concluded by August, a detailed design is expected to begin in October, to be completed in May.

The detailed design will provide the specifics of the BRT system like the road network, stops and intervals.

Proponents are aiming for an October 2013 start, and if all goes according to plan, the system may be operational by 2015.

Brader is just thankful that even if the political climate in Cebu City is heating up, the BRT system was never affected.

Brader started working on the BRT when Tomas Osmeña (now Cebu City, south district congressman) was mayor of the city three years ago. Now, he finds himself in close contact with Mayor Michael Rama or his representative for the smooth implementation of the project.

Future
Brader said that Osmeña Blvd. also has wider roads compared to V. Rama and has a better transition road going to Escario St. compared to V. Rama’s M. Velez St.

Lee also asked how the project will affect the sidewalks along Osmeña Blvd. that have been improved by the Beautiful Cebu Movement Foundation Inc.

Brader did not totally discount V. Rama, saying, “Maybe it will be a good route in the future.”

By July, the BRT will have an exhibition in major malls in Cebu City so that regular people, those not attached to any organizations, can make their sentiments known on the BRT system.

Lee was satisfied with the explanation of Brader and commented that the BRT is a good project for Cebu City.

He also commended the massive consultation done by the Brader’s firm in coordination with the Cebu City Government, comparing it to the flyover projects that did not go through public consultation. (JGA/Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 20, 2012.