Cebu City's BRT 'a likely failure'

THE Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project will most likely fail.

This was the opinion of Engr. Rene Santiago, a transportation and engineering expert, who said the BRT is not ideal for Cebu City because of the physical limitation of its roads with only two lanes dedicated for the buses.

Mixed traffic on the Ayala-Talamban route will also affect the headway reliability on the exclusive lane, he said.

Because of this, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino said he will lobby to have the project scrapped.

"I will lobby before the President and all other government agencies to cancel the BRT project. This project will only prove disastrous for Cebu. Why let Cebuanos be part of that suffering? What we need is an LRT (Light Rail Transit). Manila has already eight LRTs but Cebu is zero," Dino told reporters.

If Cebu City ventures into mass transport, implementing an LRT system with a route that will reach outside the city is ideal, Santiago said.

Santiago, though, clarified that he is not against the BRT.

He said the BRT will replace around 2,000 jeepneys with 176 buses, which are more comfortable albeit more expensive. But it will not cater to the volume of passengers that are expected in the future.

Santiago said the Cebu City Government and the Department of Transportation might consider returning the P10.2-billion loan from the World Bank to finance the project to avoid penalties.

Santiago said that Cebu City's BRT copies the Hanoi BRT, which is a failed project in Vietnam.

When sought for comment, Atty. Rafael Christopher Yap, the project manager of BRT, said they are aware of the problems in Hanoi and made sure that these were addressed in the local design.

Yap said that if there are technical concerns and other observations on the project, these should be formally endorsed to the project implementation unit.
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