I agree with what Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama said about the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. Everything for now, is indeed, just a matter of perspective. Some Cebu City councilors have expressed worries about the project’s completion but Rama sees the problems that are sprouting now, including about money matters, as a challenge. That means calls to have the project scrapped are not gaining traction.
I suggest that the city councilors should not look too far ahead but instead solve every problem that crops up as they crop up. The pessimist in me used to have the same mindset of worrying about problems even before they crop up. I changed that mindset after I realized it often leads to paralysis.
The project has already been started and it would be wrong to stop this early when the project sites have already been fenced and initial works have already been done. Mayor Rama was correct in saying that much of the worries are the result of critics lacking knowledge of the overall plan and the status of the implementation of the plan.
And there is reason for one to start losing patience especially because of the project’s effect on the traffic along Natalio Bacalso Ave. And Osmeña Blvd. That has led to questions like, “until when will commuters have to put up with this?” Monitoring the progress of the work is good and so is accepting reality and extending our patience.
I remember feeling the same way when the Mambaling underpass was constructed. But some of the problems the commuters encountered that time vanished when the project was finally completed. What came out was not what I was expecting but at least the place is now passable although City Government officials now have new problems to solve in the area, notably the flooding.
It has been years since former mayor Tomas Osmeña peddled the “virtues” of the BRT system in some Latin American countries. Weaknesses of the system have already been seen within that time span. This is the reason why questions on whether we should go ahead with the project or scrap it have already been raised. Unfortunately we are already past that stage having already reached the tail end of the completion of Package 1.
The former mayor is no longer in politics and Rama, who was once Osmeña’s deputy, is old and may no longer be Cebu City mayor soon. The operation of the completed BRT will therefore be in the hands of younger leaders who don’t have any clue of what the BRT is about. I therefore hope that our upcoming leaders will have the patience to study once again the importance of the BRT system in solving the city’s traffic woes.
Perhaps Rama can reignite the discussion on a project he and Osmeña have been championing for so long. That discussion is needed because it seems like some officials no longer see how the BRT can ease the traffic flow from Bulacao to Talamban decades after the said traffic problem was felt by commuters in the metro.