To compliment my bus operation: P150M allotted for traffic signal upgrade
Kristine B. Quintas/ATO (The Freeman) - October 9, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Public Works and Highways has allotted P150 million for the construction and improvement of Metro Cebu’s traffic signalization as the High Quality Public Transport System starts to operate by next month.

 The amount would be sourced out from the Road Board, an attached agency of DPWH, according to Rico Villalona, General Manager for Bus Operations-HQPTS.

 “The board will finance the signalization project,” he said during the unveiling of the HQPTS/Euro V hybrid buses last Thursday.

 The Road Board, which generates P30 billion every year from Road Users tax, is mandated to implement the prudent and efficient management and utilization of the special funds earmarked solely for the purpose of road maintenance and improvement of road drainage, installation of adequate traffic light, road safety, and air pollution control devices.

It was established through Republic Act 8794, or the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge Act, to ensure the adequate maintenance of national and provincial roads through sufficient funding for the purpose.

 The HQPTS bus called MyBus, an interim transport system to supplement the Bus Rapid Transit, will transport the public as the SM Seaside City complex at the SRP is expected to open next month. It is also the third phase of the BRT project, which will reportedly be operational by 2018.

 SM regional operations manager Sherry Tuvilla said the system has to be installed before 31 buses start plying four major routes next month. These routes are Talisay-Mambaling, Talisay-North Bus Terminal, Talisay-Mactan Cebu Airport and North Bus Terminal-Mambaling.

 She hopes that the system will be in full blown operation next year when all the 77 buses arrive.

 The system can detect the My Bus and once it detects the bus, it will switch red to green to allow the bus to pass since it does not have median or priority lanes compared to the BRT. 

 She said traffic signal lights need to be upgraded citing, for instance, that Cebu City has been using an old Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System (Scats), which was acquired way back in 1991 under the backing of the Metro Cebu Development Project-3.

 “It’s a matter of upgrading what we already have,” she said.

 Aside from signalization, Tuvilla said they need strong commitment from four local government units, namely the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay and Lapu-Lapu, to ensure the maintenance and sustainability of the project including the system and stations. 

 Bus stations are to be constructed at the SM Seaside City at the SRP, SM City Cebu at the NRA, South Coastal Road near Fort San Pedro, near Compaña Maritima, N. Bacalso Avenue near Cebu Institute of Technology-University, City de Mari’s residential area, and at II Corso, park mall, among others.

 These are part of the first phase of the project. The second phase will cover areas in Talisay City.

 Marissa Fernan, SM Prime Holdings Vice President, said investors are welcome to pour in their resources to the project.

 She said they need partners to transport people to the feeders or stations. — (FREEMAN)

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