BRT plan won’t derail push for Cebu LRT-A A +A
Sunday, June 1, 2014
CEBU CITY - One public official in Cebu believes a rail-based mass transport system can work in the province, in addition to the newly approved Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). But another official believes otherwise.
Representative Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr. (Cebu Province, First District) said he believes that the BRT and a Light Rail Transit (LRT) can co-exist and provide Cebu’s commuters with more choices.
But the LRT won’t be feasible in Cebu, said Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) executive director Atty. Rafael Yap, citing the results of a traffic study.
Gullas gave his reaction following the approval by President Benigno Aquino III and the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) of the proposed P10.6-billion BRT project in Cebu.
The first-term congressman said he will not let this stop his campaign to push for LRT in Cebu. Gullas has filed House Bill 1338, which seeks to establish an LRT system; it remains pending before the House committee on transportation headed by Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento.
A similar bill was also filed by Rep. Raul Del Mar (Cebu City, North District).
Gullas said that while the two bills are being tackled at the committee level, he hopes to get the interest of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and convince the National Government to invest on putting up an LRT system in Cebu.
“I believe that the LRT could complement the BRT as Cebu faces a growing number of commuters,” Gullas said.
The BRT system will stretch from N. Bacalso Ave. to Talamban in Cebu City. According to the original proposal, the LRT in Cebu would have its final stops in Talisay City and Mandaue City, although this can later be expanded from Talisay to Dalaguete in the south and from Mandaue to Sogod in the north.
First raised during the time of Gullas’s grandfather, former Cebu Rep. Eduardo Gullas, the proposed Cebu LRT project was conceptualized to ease traffic congestion and keep pace with Cebu’s growing population and economy.
When he started proposing the measure, the elder Gullas had said it would cost around P46 billion to put up.
But in an interview yesterday, Yap said that results of the 2011 Metro Cebu Public Transport Study by the DOTC showed that an LRT would “not be economically and financially feasible” in Cebu.
Yap said this is because the passenger volume in Cebu City has not yet gotten to the point that an LRT has become essential. He said that the study recommended a bus-based mass transportation system in the city.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 02, 2014.