‘Road show’ to promote Cebu bus system planned-A A +A
Sunday, September 30, 2012
CEBU CITY – Passenger jeepneys will not be phased out in Cebu City despite the entry of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) by 2015, an official of the Cebu City Traffic Operations and Management (Citom) said Saturday.
Lawyer Rafael Christopher Yap, Citom executive director, said that jeepneys will remain among the city’s transport facilities because they are needed in other areas that will connect to the BRT.
Speaking at the Cebu City Transport Sector and Stakeholders Dialogue 2012, Yap said that the City will conduct a series of consultations on the BRT starting next month until early next year.
In an earlier forum last August 28, also about the BRT, Yap said the project will now be called Trans-Cebu because it is not an idea of one man alone, but of several people who want a rapid but cost-efficient transport system.
Armando Gracia of the Cebu Transport Sector Forum said they already accept the fact that they will be out of the major roads in Cebu a few years from now.
However, he said, they are hopeful that they will be given other routes or alternative livelihoods.
The forum was sponsored by Abante Barangay headed by Atty. Aristotle Batuhan, a former transportation undersecretary, and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu City Chapter headed by Atty. Earl Bonachita.
Batuhan said that Abante Barangay will arrange for more dialogues on various concerns.
Bonachita, in his opening remarks, cited a personal anecdote — a trip of less than five kilometers on Saturday from the pier area in Cebu City to the Capitol that took him 45 minutes — to show that traffic is becoming a big problem.
In the same dialogue, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) said it will adjudicate and will not impose any penalty on drivers intercepted on the Mandaue City-Jones (Cebu City) and Naga-Punta Princesa routes, because they have franchises issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Assistant Secretary Virginia Torres, the LTO chief, told drivers and driver-operators that because of their franchise, they cannot be apprehended for allegedly operating outside their line.
Romeo Armamento, a driver-operator, said that their Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) issued by LTFRB indicates their travel line that includes Jones Ave. (now Osmeña Blvd.). But they are apprehended by Citom and LTO enforcers because of the Cebu City ordinance that cut short their route.
“The franchise issued by LTFRB must be followed. That’s why we advise local government units (LGUs) to honor the travel line, as indicated in the franchise issued by LTFRB,” Torres said.
On the other hand, Yap said that once the Trans-Cebu project starts operating, this issue will not be relevant, because the new discussion will be on where these jeepneys will be allowed to operate.
The BRT will have stations, just like a train system, but will use buses; its initial route in Cebu will include Bulacao, N. Bacalso Ave., Osmeña Blvd., Escario St. and Talamban. It is among the priority projects for which the Aquino administration has sought private sector partners. (EOB of Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 30, 2012.