LRT study done, awaits approval

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - June 20, 2017 - 4:00pm

CEBU, Philippines - The feasibility study to set up a Light Rail Transit (LRT) in Cebu has already concluded, according to Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino.

Dino said the results of the study will be submitted to the Department of Transportation and the National Economic and Development Authority for evaluation and approval.

At a press conference in his office yesterday, Dino reiterated his support to a local LRT system and dismissed anew the Bus Rapid Transit project, which is the brainchild of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

"The LRT is a public-private partnership project at no cost to the Filipino people. We badly need a mass transport system that will help ease traffic in Metro Cebu," said Dino.

“But unlike the Bus Rapid system, the LRT is pro-poor and pro-Cebuano,” he added. He said BRT is anti-poor because it is not the answer to the traffic problems in Cebu. If traffic woes are not addressed, Dino said the poor people will continue to suffer.

Osmeña, for his part, had said that the BRT can adjust to any kind of transportation scheme, including the use of the LRT, unlike the LRT which would be stuck on its rails.

“In BRT, you can have different routes. You can expand it, but in LRT, you are stuck in one line. And that’s very expensive. You can go to Talisay (City) from Danao (City), yes, but you cannot go from Pasil to Talamban (in Cebu City),” he said.

Osmeña also said the BRT project is already moving and that the national government has already started releasing funds for its implementation.

“And I hope we will get this started. This will take time. We can’t solve this overnight. But will it make it better? Yes, but some people will not like the adjustment,” he added.

As for the LRT, the first phase of the proposed 90-kilometer route will run from Carcar City to Danao City and from Mandaue City to Lapu-Lapu City to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. 

The LRT project in Cebu is pegged at an estimated cost of $3 billion (about P150 billion).

Dino said such system would make travel faster and spur business and economic development in the countryside. (FREEMAN)

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