Editorial: BRT system and dislocation

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014


CEBU'S Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system should get the distinction of being the first of such kind of a mass transport system to operate in the country, even if Manila, reports say, will have one that will also start operation simultaneously with ours. A Davao BRT is also being mulled.

The Cebu BRT project has been pushed by Cebu leaders, notably by former mayor Tomas Osmeña, for years already and was subjected to deeper study by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) for more than a year before it was approved.

As Nigel Paul Villarete, chairman of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Regional Management Council, would say in a June 1, 2014 Business World online report:

“The Manila project enjoys an advantage because Cebu (BRT) has been approved and it took a year and a half to do the proof of concept. With its approval, most probably (approval of the) Manila (BRT) will be automatic. Manila, will just roll out and then Davao.”

The target of operation of the Cebu BRT is 2017, which means that the Cebu City Government has around three years to brace for the project’s impact on the transport sector. The BRT is the first mass transport system in Cebu and is bound to effect radical changes in the entire transport setup in the city.

Most affected will be drivers of passenger utility jeepneys that ply the routes that partly pass by the proposed dedicated bus lane, which starts from Bulacao going to Natalio Bacalso Ave., Osmeña Blvd., Escario St., Archbishop Reyes Ave. and finally to the Talamban area.

Those are major thoroughfares, meaning that the number of displaced PUJ drivers would be in the hundreds. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is talking about massive rerouting for passenger jeepneys in Metro Cebu. But that is only one of the possible preparatory moves.

The BRT is not only about the construction of dedicated bus lanes and stations, the fielding of around 300 buses and the laying down of the operational system. It’s also about dislocation. In fact, this is the concern that should be given more attention by the government.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 05, 2014.

Opinion

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