DOTC approves bus routes for Cebu City
Kristine B. Quintas/FPL (The Freeman) - January 14, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Transportation and Communication has finally approved the High Quality Public Transport System routes in Cebu City. 

The routes are Talisay-Mambaling, Talisay-North Bus Terminal, Talisay-Mactan Cebu Airport and North Bus Terminal-Mambaling.

The hybrid buses will traverse mainly along the South Road Properties. It is an interim transport to supplement the Bus Rapid Transit, which would only be operational in 2018 yet.

This was proposed by SM Prime Holdings Inc. to operate a high quality bus service from Talisay City Hall to MCIAA in preparation also for the opening of the SM Seaside City Complex in the middle of this year.

In a four-page memorandum addressed to Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board chairman Winston Ginez, DOTC said the route may be considered as a “development route given that the encompassed area is a reclaimed lot unserved by public transport.”

 “Please note that the second phase of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit will cover the proposed routes. Thus, any franchise issued should be subject to the caveat that may be amended or revoked at any time to give way to the government’s road and transit rationalization program,” the memorandum read. The memorandum was signed by D0TC Undersecretary for Planning Rene Limcaoco.

Limcaoco said SMPHI’s proposal is “suitable” for BRT services citing the Metro Cebu Master Plan in 2011 entitled “The Development of Public Transportation Strategic Plan for Metro Cebu”, identifying the routes as a “medium to high capacity transit line.”

He added that the Talisay to MCIAA is “strategic” in the manner that the route has not been served yet by public transport.

“At present, there is no public mode of transport plying the route, making it difficult for people to have direct access to the airport or to the areas located along the coastline,” he said.

“The area traversed by the route is currently undergoing a major development expansion and will include a variety of commercial hubs and tourist locations,” he added.

Citing the MCMP study, he said the projected ridership will increase this year to 118,000 daily passengers with 42-percent increase by 2020 and 57-percent by 2025, stressing the “need for public transport in the proposed area.”

The full service demand of the routes is seen to accommodate maximum passengers of 1,347,000 in a week for broken down into 175,000 weekday, 237,000 Saturday and 235,000 on Sunday.

Based on the agreement, there would be 69 buses to be deployed to “serve the demand and fulfill service requirements” for the first year of operations.

The operation is given exclusively to the proponent, SMPHI to avoid complications. But, other operators will be allowed once the demand increases.

A key condition, he said, would be a system manager who will manage the route and ensure that the operators comply with the service plan.

Before implementation, DOTC requires for several conditions of franchise, including construction bus shelters, stops, poles and stands; presentable and customer-oriented drivers; installation of two surveillance cameras inside the bus, free wifi and global position system; operational passenger information system displaying real time bus schedules; electronic ticketing system-smart cards; among others.

DOTC has set a specification on the buses, such as Euro V with a total length of 13.7 meter and three axles, 610 mm floor height and with two doors at the front and rear with 900 mm width.— (FREEMAN)

BUS BUS RAPID TRANSIT CEBU BUS RAPID TRANSIT CEBU CITY DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATION DEVELOPMENT OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION STRATEGIC PLAN EURO V HIGH QUALITY PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM LAND TRANSPORTATION FRANCHISING AND REGULATORY BOARD METRO CEBU
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