Mayor: BRT consultation ‘promising’-A A +A
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
ALTHOUGH they have yet to present the feasibility study on the bus rapid transport (BRT) system, project consultants have started talking to some stakeholders.
Collin Brader of the Integrated Transport Planning (ITP), the consultancy firm of the BRT system, led three briefings on the project yesterday.
The first one was with the different planning officers of the Metro Cebu local government units (LGUs), followed by mini-bus operators and later with Movement for a Livable Cebu (MLC).
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama attended the first briefing at the Eduardo Aboitiz Studies Center and described it as “fruitful” because other LGUs learned about the BRT system that the Cebu City Government intends to operate by 2015.
The feasibility study on the project is expected to be finished by August this year.
By October, the engineering program on the project can start.
“It was promising because all the stakeholders were there, including businessmen and civic organizations,” said Rama.
“The BRT may be located in Cebu City but it will be receiving passengers from neighboring LGUs,” he added.
He said that if other LGUs—particularly those represented in the Metro Cebu
Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB)—are interested, they may even interlink with Cebu City's BRT.
But this does not mean that the proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) is shelved.
Rama is against the LRT going through the city streets because it will be an “eyesore” to the city's skyline.
But he said the LRT can co-exist with the BRT, as long as the rail’s route will be in the mountain barangays.
In the consultation, mini-bus operators expressed fear they would be displaced when the BRT becomes operational.
Brader said there will be jobs waiting for drivers. There are 1,500 drivers who can be absorbed by the BRT system, he added.
The system will need bus drivers and people who will watch the stations.
Jeepneys will also continue to operate in internal routes.
The BRT will only pass through N. Bacalso Ave., starting in Barangay Bulacao. It will continue on Osmeña Blvd., Escario and onwards to Barangay Talamban.
Brader met with MLC members last night.
Initially, MLC wanted the BRT route to pass V. Rama Ave. instead of Osmeña Blvd. because V. Rama is more residential. Osmeña Blvd. also has better sidewalks.
Brader said Osmeña Blvd. is more feasible because there are more people there. He said Escario St. is wider than M. Velez St., which makes passing through Osmeña Blvd. less inconvenient traffic-wise.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 18, 2012.