BRT route to be extended to IT Park
BRT route to be extended to IT Park
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - February 20, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — While Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project is expected to be functional in 2021, the consultant of its detailed engineering design (DED) is working on the possible extension of the route up to Cebu I.T. Park.

 

“Mostly on fine-tuning of station design plus the possibility of extending the dedicated lane portion up to IT Park instead ending at Ayala,” Cebu City Administrator Nigel Paul Villarete told The FREEMAN.

Villarete attended the recently-concluded Support Mission for the BRT project with officials from the World Bank, Agence Française de Développement, and Department of Transportation on January 24 to January 31.

All other details about the possible extension will be incorporated in the DED with the integration of BRT project to other modes of mass transport system in Metro Cebu, said Villarete.

The original BRT route covers 23 kilometers from Barangay Bulacao to Ayala to Talamban.

Villarete, who was asked by Mayor Tomas Osmeña to oversee the project implementation of BRT, said the mission last January discussed the implementation and resolved the issues and concerns affecting the completion of the project.

Should all stakeholders work hand in hand together, Villarete said the “ambitious” 2021 target completion is doable.

However, he said project proponents have to hurdle another eight months of waiting for the Kunhwa Consulting & Engineering Co., Ltd. to finish the DED of the project.

To recall, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Office of the Presidential Assistant for Visayas Michael Dino recommended canceling the BRT project in April 2018 due to the city’s narrow roads and other reasons.

“The catastrophic demand for its cancellation last April 2018 came after the series of delays of its project components especially on the non-engagement of the Technical Support Consultant (TSC).  However, the decisive instruction of the NEDA-ICC last August confirmed the project’s priority to national development.  We are very thankful for DOTr to have finally engaged the TSC last October,” Villarete said.

He said the “impasse” caused six months of delay or even more.

Villarete said it has been agreed that BRT project will be integrated in the planned Integrated Inter-Modal Transport System (IITS) for Metro Cebu.

Under the IITS, projects that include are Point-to-point (P2P) bus system; Monorail in Lapu-Lapu City; Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in three-lane roads; Light Rail Transit (LRT) from Carcar to Danao Line and Mandaue to Airport Line; and Intelligent Transportation System.

“Due to project integration, there would be some minute changes in packaging – aimed at synchronizing the staging with the other fixtures of the latter metro system.  This will set back DED by another year or 8 months, at least, if there will be no more changes along the way,” he said.

Villarete said integrating BRT to other systems would be a good move to avoid dysfunctional and disconnected mass transport system.

However, he said the other projects included in the IITS have to seek approval from National Economic Development Authority and its sub committees first.

“With another one year for procurement and construction, the Cebu BRT infrastructure could be ready by 2021.  Whether the BRT buses can be operational by that time is another story – the DOTr is still procuring the necessary services for the operational systems and the business case plan for system management and operations,” he said.

“We hope this could also be done soon, or we would be having a very nice BRT road and stations in 2021 without buses running on it.  We are confident DOTr can do this well and we would do our utmost to provide all the help and support.  2021 is a fairly ambitious target but doable with everyone’s support.  And this needs everybody’s support,” he added. — KBQ (FREEMAN)

CEBU BUS RAPID TRANSIT
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