Rama, agencies sign pact for BRT

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Thursday, July 17, 2014


THE P10.6-billion Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project is another step closer to its implementation.

Yesterday, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the implementation of the public mass transport system in the city.

The MOU outlines the duties and responsibilities of the City Government, as well as two other National Government agencies, to ensure the successful implementation and operation of the project.

Other parties who signed the MOU were Sec. Joseph Emilio Abaya of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and Sec. Rogelio Singson of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Abaya and Singson had signed the MOU almost two weeks ago, said City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) executive director Atty. Rafael Yap.

In the seven-page MOU, the DOTC, through the BRT-National Steering Committee and the BRT-National Program Management Office, will be primarily responsible in overseeing the planning and development of the BRT in the city. Being the implementing agency, it will also formulate rules on BRT routes, operation and bus requirements, among others.

The agency’s other tasks include:

• directly, or through private contractors, operate and maintain the BRT upon completion of the project

• conduct post-project evaluation and formulate a comprehensive operation and maintenance plan to ensure quality of the transportation service.

The plan will cover operations management, incident and emergency management, safety and security, fare collection, revenue protection, customer support, and infrastructure maintenance and cleaning.

• consult regularly with the City on matters of the BRT’s operation and maintenance

• hold the bidding and procurement of construction works and goods during the construction phase, and

• collaborate with the City Government in establishing a project implementation unit that will undertake the necessary road-right-of-way (RROW) acquisition, establish reporting systems, and implement environmental management and social impact plans.

The DPWH, on the other hand, will extend technical advisory and support to DOTC. Its tasks include providing technical advice and formulating rules and standards on the maintenance of non-BRT portions of the BRT corridor. These include flyovers and intersections, among others, that are not for the exclusive use of the BRT.

The DPWH will also issue necessary regulation in providing exclusive lanes along national roads for the BRT. It will also ensure the maintenance of national roads where the BRT will pass.

The BRT, which will be a 16-kilometer project, will run from Barangay Bulacao to Barangay Talamban.

The City Government, for its part, will spearhead consultations with various stakeholders that will be affected by the project. It will particularly handle the social impact management.

It will also do the following:

• formulate ordinances regarding the BRT traffic within the city and issue regulations for the allocation of local roads for the BRT

• ensure the speedy acquisition of RROW as well as establish or re-engineer the city’s traffic control system to accommodate the project

• handle the maintenance works of non-BRT running ways along local roads

• provide police, security assistance and emergency response teams, provide logistical and coordination support, enforce traffic along the BRT corridor, and maintain availability of the traffic control system.

Yap, in an interview yesterday, said the signing of the MOU sets into paper the commitments of the City, DOTC and DPWH for the effective implementation of the BRT.

“This sets everything into stone. There’s no turning back,” he said.

Rama signed the MOU yesterday before he left for the United States for vacation.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 17, 2014.

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