Tugade said that the Department of Transportation shall implement the bus augmentation system in the interim and will be made available in places where there is partial operability of the BRT, on the part of Fuente Osmeña going to the southern part of Cebu.
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Buses to arrive as precursor to BRT
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - February 24, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade revealed Saturday that the bus augmentation system for the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project will start on March 15 this year.

Tugade said that the Department of Transportation shall implement the bus augmentation system in the interim and will be made available in places where there is partial operability of the BRT, on the part of Fuente Osmeña going to the southern part of Cebu.

Tugade, however, said the bus augmentation system is not yet the real BRT.

He said that as to how many buses will be deployed or  augmented is yet being finalized.

“The buses will have to be equated with the density of passengers that will come in. A lot will depend on the study that will push through by the Technical Working Group,” said Tugade, who was the guest speaker during the induction of JCI Metro Cebu Uptown officers in Cebu City.

“This is the interim bus transport system, meaning to say, we will follow the routes of the partial operability of the BRT,” Tugade said.

The DOTr has expanded and improved the routes of the BRT system from originally only traversing Cebu City to now including some routes through Talisay City.

DOTr Undersecretary Mark de Leon earlier said that the new BRT system has improved the reliability and coverage of the service, through its continuous exclusive carriageway and extension of its feeder services.

De Leon said that from the original 21.58 kilometers plan, it has expanded to 39.88 kilometers. Under the revised BRT routes, there will be 84 bus stops instead of the 20 bus stops.

De Leon said that the Phase 1 of the BRT system will be partially operational before December 2021.

Tugade added that DOTr have to accelerate also the cable cars program which will pass among others to the international airport in Mactan going to downtown Cebu.

“We would like to accelerate this as it affords tourism value. It improves and accelerates the mobility of people,” said Tugade.

Tugade said the DOTr will also fast-track the monorail system, which is the backbone of the Integrated and Inter-modal Transport System (IITS) in Cebu.

The monorail project is part of Cebu's IITS which includes BRT, point-to-point buses, cable car system, modern jeepneys, bikeways, and urban realm enhancement or walkways, among others.

The proposed monorail from an unsolicited proposal will have the capacity of a light rail transit (LRT) and can accommodate 12,000 to 15,000 passenger capacity per direction per hour.

Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino had said Cebu's monorail is pegged to cost P78.9  billion and that the construction of this monorail from Cebu City-Mandaue City-Terminal 2 in Mactan Cebu International Airport (which is Phase 1) would be a very big help is easing Metro Cebu's traffic.

Tugade said if the three components -- the BRT which will be started by an interim bus augmentation program, the cable cars and the monorail – are present, then there will be a good chance of really pushing and putting into reality the IITS in Cebu.

"IITS because there is there is no one system that is exclusive. It has to IITS for a simple reason that there are just certain areas which are not tugma sa BRT, meron din hindi tugma sa cable. Kaya dapat kinu-combine natin. Now we have agreed that it’s a good transport system for the sake of modality and connectivity," Tugade said.

The transport secretary further said that once the BRT, the monorail and the cable cars are in place Cebu, Cebuanos can expect a smooth traffic flow in Cebu that they have never experienced before. (FREEMAN)

ARTHUR TUGADE
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