Editorial: Awareness and the BRT scheme-A A +A
Thursday, June 21, 2012
IT'S good to know that the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project pushed by former Cebu City mayor and now south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña has not been affected by the change in leadership in city hall and the intense conflict between Osmeña and Mayor Michael Rama. We can say that, at least on this issue, the political rivals exhibited maturity.
It’s also good to know that the pre-feasibility study conducted by the city and concerned national government agencies seems to have considered every possible angle and may yet include all inputs, specifically from those that will be directly affected by the project.
In this context, the Movement for Livable Cebu (MLC) also deserves a pat in the back for providing some inputs, which has prompted urban planner Colin Brader from the Integrated Transport Planner, the consultancy firm for the BRT, to come up with a presentation on the project last Tuesday.
Now we know that the BRT feasibility study has entered the last two months of its consultation phase before it is completed. That should prod sectors affected by the project and not included in the consultancy firm’s list of sectors to be consulted to immediately seek audience with the firm so their concerns will become part of the evaluation phase.
We have found out after the briefing attended by the MLC that some of these sectors, like operators of mini-buses and buses, have yet to meet and come up with a stand on the project and on the BRT concept. They still have two months to do that.
The hope, however, is that the ideas of the consultancy firm have not hardened and that it is still open to suggestions. The problem with the conduct of feasibility studies is that there is always the danger of inputs from affected sectors being eased out in the final report.
The BRT project is a major undertaking not only for Cebu City but also for Metro Cebu, this being the first attempt in the last few decades to introduce a mass transport system in the province. That it has caught the attention of Malacañang is proof of its importance.
Care should therefore be given in its implementation. And that can only be done if Cebu residents are continuously being informed about the progress of the study, its approval and realization.
As MLC has pointed out, let our negative experience with the construction of flyovers not be repeated in the BRT project.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 22, 2012.