The Department of Transportation is eyeing the partial operation of one of the crucial segments of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit this year, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said Monday.
He said the partial operation of Package 1 of the Cebu BRT would address the need for mobility in Cebu amid the coronavirus disease pandemic.
Package 1 covers the 2.6-kilometer busway, with four stations, urban realm enhancement, and vital intersection improvements. Package 1 is at the procurement stage.
Tugade ordered the Cebu BRT project management team and the other concerned transportation officials to implement a 24/7 construction work schedule, with three work shifts that will employ and generate jobs for more local residents of the province.
He said the project contractor and personnel with key roles in the Cebu BRT project should be based in Cebu while 90 percent of the project’s total work force should be Cebuanos.
“While I’m addressing our program of projects, I am addressing the need of the economy and I’m addressing the requirements of the pandemic,” Tugade said.
“These are extraordinary times. They need extraordinary processes,” he said, as he stressed the need to generate more jobs for Cebu residents who were displaced from their livelihood by the pandemic.
Tugade also directed the Cebu BRT team to make sure the project’s work schedule and timeline of completion would be aligned with the election ban next year, and that the procurement process should be fast tracked.
The 13.2-kilometer bus rapid transit lane will traverse the South Road Properties through Mambaling, up to IT Park with 17 stations, two terminals and a depot.
Along with the BRT, there will be a 20.2-kilometer bus feeder system to run with mixed traffic, complemented with sidewalk bus stops/ shelters along the following routes: Cebu IT Park-Talamban, Mambaling-Bulacao, and Talisay-SRP.
Cebu BRT aims to serve around 60,000 passengers daily, once completed.
Tugade said the project would improve passenger mobility along the project’s corridors. It will also provide an option that is swift, comfortable, cost-effective and efficient while generating fewer emissions that reduce both local and global pollution.