Cebu City Council pushes to suspend civil works of CBRT’s packages 2-4

Cebu City Council pushes to suspend civil works of CBRT’s packages 2-4
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MAJORITY of the members of the Cebu City Council voted for the suspension of the civil works of the second to fourth packages of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) for six months.

The officials also urged Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama to assemble a CBRT technical working group to explore the possibility of conducting a city-operated trial run of a CBRT route from Bulacao to Ayala during the suspension.

Councilor James Anthony Cuenco, transportation committee chair, delivered a privilege speech during the regular session on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, pushing for the mentioned measures and introducing the proposals of mass transportation expert and consultant Rene Santiago and urban planner Nigel Paul Villarete surrounding the operations of CBRT.

Cuenco said during the executive session on April 3, both Santiago and Villarete suggested that CBRT’s Package 1 could have been implemented elsewhere instead of Osmeña Boulevard.

Their reasons included the short distance of the CBRT route from the Cebu South Bus Terminal to Capitol, the presence of numerous crosswalks along the route, and the possibility of simpler BRT station designs to save time and money.

The two traffic experts also said that the current BRT routes primarily connect commercial centers like Ayala Mall and IT Park, rather than residential areas, as originally intended.

They also questioned the request for a depot in South Road Properties (SRP), which they argued is not aligned with the BRT's original purpose.

Instead, they proposed to consider an alternative route via Fuente Osmeña to Mango Avenue if the public prefers avoiding Capitol, while maintaining the start and end points in Bulacao and Talamban.

The executive session concluded that there is no reason not to suspend Packages 2 and 3 while exploring the possibility of streamlining the route to a direct path from Bulacao to Ayala or Talamban.

Taking into account the opinion of the two traffic experts, Cuenco supported the proposal of Santiago, who suggested conducting a dry run on the Bulacao to Ayala Route, implementing exclusive bus lanes without repaving roads, and utilizing temporary and/or cost-effective bus stations.

However, Councilor Nestor Archival opposed this idea, saying Santiago failed to elaborate further the implications of his idea.

During the voting of Cuenco’s measures, Archival, Councilors Joy Augustus Young, Mary Ann de los Santos, and Jose Abellanosa voted against the measures, while Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) president Franklyn Ong abstained from voting. (AML)


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