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Metro bus project gets $64.6-m loan

The Transportation Department has secured a $64.6-million loan from the World Bank to partly finance the first bus rapid transit (BRT) system in Metro Manila.

The Metro Manila BRT Line 1 Project will cost $109.4 million, with $64.6 million to be funded by the World Bank and the Clean Technology Fund.

The funding for Metro Manila BRT was approved by World Bank’s board of executive directors. 

The Philippine government will provide a counterpart funding equivalent to $44.8 million.

Like trains, BRTs run on dedicated lanes, carrying passengers in large numbers. Unlike trains that run on rails, however, BRTs deploy buses, making the system simpler and cheaper to construct, operate and maintain.

“By providing an affordable and convenient public transport option, this project will help make job and education opportunities more accessible, especially for the poor residing around the BRT route,” said World Bank country director Mara Warwick.

“High-capacity transport systems like BRT help reduce greenhouse gases, boosting the country’s contribution to the global fight against climate change,” Warwick added.

The project will also develop support infrastructure along the España Boulevard-Quezon Avenue route, including bus terminals and stations, segregation barriers, sidewalks, warning and direction signs, and pedestrian crossing facilities. Women make up 55 percent of public transport users in Metro Manila.

“Bus systems like BRT are cost-effective options for reducing emissions of harmful gases that cause climate change,” said Zhihong Zhang, senior program coordinator of the Clean Technology Fund. 

“Implementation of this project alone will prevent the release of around 2.6 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents into the atmosphere in the next 20 years. Transport is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions globally and projects like this show the road to a cleaner future,” he said.

To be implemented by the Department of Transportation in coordination with the local governments of Manila and Quezon City, the Manila BRT Line 1 is expected to be operational by 2020.

Pioneered in Curitiba, Brazil in 1974, BRT systems are growing in popularity throughout the world for efficiency and affordability.

Over 150 cities operate or are developing BRT, from Bogotá to Boston, Cleveland, Curitiba, Hartford, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Ottawa, Pittsburgh  Porto Alegre and São Paulo, Sydney, Ahmedabad and Jakarta. 

Managed by the World Bank, the Clean Technology Fund provides developing countries and emerging economies with resources to expand clean technologies that have strong potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

The fund globally has provided $3.8 billon to support clean technologies, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency and transport.

Topics: Transportation Department , Metro Manila BRT Line 1 Project , World Bank , Clean Technology Fund
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