AFTER seeing how the proposed Cebu City Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will operate, the Cebu City Council now wants to access $1 million from the World Bank (WB) so the feasibility study can proceed.

Integrated Transport Planning (ITP) director Colin Brader briefed the council yesterday on the 13-kilometer BRT that is planned to operate from Barangay Bulacao in the south district to Barangay Talamban in the north district by 2012.

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The proposed routes are Osmeña Blvd.-Escario St.-Ayala-Talamban, and a bus line that will take passengers from Bulacao to SM City Cebu. The South Road Properties (SRP) may also be incorporated into the routes later on.

Once the BRT is operational, Brader said there will be an 80-percent reduction in the number of jeepneys in the BRT routes to make way for 40 to 50 buses that will operate in the initial phase of the implementation.

“In the BRT corridor itself, we are seeing that the current number of jeepneys you see on the road will be reduced by 80 percent. Some of them will be redirected to feeder routes so that only around 20 percent will remain,” Brader told the council.

Cebu City’s BRT is expected to cost $4 million per kilometer, or some P2.4 billion for the 13-kilometer route. It will be undertaken by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

The $50-million budget for the BRT in Cebu City and Metro Manila was included in the $350-million Clean Technology Fund (CTF).

The National Government had taken out the concessional loan from the WB to be paid in 30 years without interest, to fund its renewable energy projects and environmentally sustainable transportation.

Brader presented to the council yesterday the results of the pre-feasibility study on the Cebu City BRT, and said they will be ready to submit the final report to the City Government and the WB.

So the ITP can proceed with the feasibility study on the bus system and work on the design of the BRT, the council passed a resolution “to request the WB and the DOTC to conduct a full-blown feasibility study and design of the Cebu City BRT.”

It also requested the WB and the DOTC for technical assistance funding under the CTF, amounting to $1 million, to be used for the study.

Among the expected output of the feasibility study is the exact project cost and BRT fares, as well as the design of the bus system, its maintenance, management and operations.

Included in the estimated project cost of $4 million per kilometer is the infrastructure that will be set up, such as bus stops, segregated road right of way, bus depots and ticketing office.

It does not include yet the buses, which Brader recommends should be provided, operated and maintained by private sector players, as in the case with bus companies operating in the city.