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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Buses, monorail, LRT: DOTr draws up plans for Cebu

SunStar File photo

THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) will establish an Integrated Inter-Modal Transport System (IITS) for Cebu, which will include both a Light Rail Transit (LRT) and a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

In a press statement, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino said the IITS will synchronize the “basket of solutions” that DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade has been discussing to address traffic in Metro Cebu.

Tugade and Dino have been meeting for the past three months and decided to roll out IITS, which will adopt a common station and be partially operating in 18 to 24 months.

Three months ago, Tugade and Dino recommended to cancel the BRT project in Cebu City, for which a World Bank financing package had been secured about four years ago.

Although the BRT forms part of the “basket of solutions,” the press statement quoted Tugade as saying it should not be implemented on narrow roads.

The IITS will be composed of a point-to-point (P2P) bus system, a monorail in Lapu-Lapu City, BRT on three-lane roads, Light Rail Transit (LRT) from Carcar to Danao and from Mandaue to Mactan Airport, and an Intelligent Transportation System.

Main mode: LRT

“LRT will become the main arterial backbone of Cebu’s mass transportation, with other IITS components as feeder lines serving internal peripheries,” Dino quoted Tugade as saying.

A Singaporean-Chinese and Filipino consortium has submitted a proposal to build a US$3-billion LRT system, with a subway component in Cebu City and above-ground component from Talisay to Carcar and from Mandaue to Danao. A separate line is proposed from Mandaue to Mactan Airport.

“It was a common agreement that BRT on narrow roads will fail. DOTr has identified the roads with three lanes in both directions where we can allow it to operate, as it will not be effective if we allow them to operate on already congested areas,” Dino said.

Monorail in Mactan

Implementing the BRT on narrow roads would prove disastrous to other IITS components and the existing transport system, he said.

Tugade reportedly inspected the 23-kilometer route of the BRT project in Cebu City last month. He did this with officials of the World Bank, DOTr, National Economic and Development Authority 7, Land Transportation Office 7, and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board 7, the statement said.

To boost Cebu’s tourism sector, among the proposed components is a monorail system that would connect the airport to the hotels and resorts on Mactan Island.

“I fully support Secretary Tugade, who sees the need to move fast in the aspect of traffic and transportation now that Mactan Cebu International Airport is opening its P17.5-billion passenger terminal. We will soon feel the influx of tourists visiting Metro Cebu, which will greatly affect our mobility as a whole,” Dino said. (RVC)


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