The Transportation Department plans to complete the Manila Bus Rapid Transit System in 2018 to help decongest Metro Manila’s worsening traffic situation.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya told reporters Manila’s first bus transit system, which is estimated to cost P4.9 billion, would be presented to President Benigno Aquino III in the next board meeting of the National Economic and Development Authority.
“The project was supposed to be presented in the last Neda board meeting, but it was pushed back in the next meeting,” Abaya said.
The department has issued the notice for the conduct of the engineering design for the 27.7-kilometer Manila BRT that will run in a dedicated lane along the Quirino Highway-Manila City Hall route.
The BRT system is expected to serve around 279,500 passengers daily from 300 buses. Around 32 bus stations are being considered under the system, with a waiting time of about two to five minutes for the next bus to arrive.
Transportation said the BRT route was not currently served by any form of mass transit with connections to important rail systems.
“BRT systems around the world have been successful in mobilizing masses of people in dense urban settings, getting them to their destinations reliably through fixed schedules, efficiently through segregated lanes and priority passage, comfortably and safely through modern, well-equipped buses, and affordably through relatively lower capital costs and maintenance expenditures,” Abaya said earlier.
The Manila BRT will be the second BRT system after that of Cebu which is set for completion in 2017.
The detailed engineering study for the P10.6-billion Cebu BRT system, which covers 23 kilometers, will begin early this year and take eight months to complete.
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board chairman Winston Ginez said the Cebu BRT, which will use the center island of Osmeña Boulevard as dedicated bus lanes and passenger terminals, was expected to reduce the public dependence on jeepneys and give more road space to private vehicles.
“Close to 200 BRT units will be plying Cebu once the project becomes operational in 2017,” Ginez said.
Ginez said he would order LTFRB regional offices to hold dialogues with transport groups and drivers associations regarding the BRT project.