Cebu BRT project put on hold
The Department of Transportation has put on the back burner the construction of the P9-billion Bus Rapid Transit project in Cebu province.
“The review must be undertaken and that concerns raised must be addressed, so as not to cast any doubt on the integrity of the project,” DOTr said in a statement Thursday.
“Rest assured that the decision to be made will be anchored on the DOTr’s aim to enhance mobility and connectivity in the country, and to put the convenience of the riding public on topmost priority,” the agency added.
DOTr’s decision came after the recent pronouncements of the National Economic Development Authority that the proposal of Michael Dino, presidential assistant for the Visayas, to build an LRT-Subway project for Cebu is “conceptually better” than the BRT, given the narrow streets of Cebu City.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, as head of Neda, said the LRT-Subway proposal will still have to undergo “the rigorous and long processes of project proposal and approval.”
As standard practice for all big-ticket public projects, proposals are brought to the concerned line agency with a completed feasibility study.
In 2015, the Transportation department awarded the detailed engineering, design and construction supervision contract for the 23-kilometer Cebu BRT system to Kunhwa Engineering & Consulting Co. Ltd.
The design and consultancy contract would be funded by a $2.9-million loan from the World Bank, while P67.8 million would be the counterpart fund from the Philippine government.
The Philippines earlier secured a $114-million loan from the World Bank to finance the construction of the Cebu BRT.
The project would have entailed building segregated BRT bus-ways from Bulacao to Ayala, with a link to the South Road Property, a feeder service between Ayala and Talamban districts with signal priority, 33 stations to service 330,000 people per day in 2015, 176 buses, an area stop light control for the entire Cebu City, and a central transport control room.
Once completed, the BRT project could field 433,000 individual trips per day, resulting in savings of 25 minutes of travel time and P7.50 in fares. Compared with a rail service, a BRT would cost five to 10 percent lower and would take less time (two years) to construct, the feasibility study added.
The Transportation department was to implement the project, which was scheduled to start commercial operations by 2018.