July 19, 2018, 12:04 am
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DOTr puts Cebu BRT on hold

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is putting on hold the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project pending a review by the agency and following a pronouncement last week by the National Economic and Development Authority  it would  opt to pursue the LRT-Subway project  rather than BRT.

The DOTr believes a review must be undertaken and that concerns raised must be addressed, so as not to cast any doubt on the integrity of the project.

“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,” DOTr said. 

The DOTr  had envisioned the Cebu BRT to  address traffic congestion in Cebu City. 

The DOTr earlier tapped the Project Development and Monitoring Facility (PDMF) to support the conduct of the feasibility study (FS) and transaction advisory services for the operation and management of the Cebu BRT project.

 The Cebu BRT project was approved by the previous administration  with the infrastructure side supposed to be financed through loans from the Agence Francaise de Developpement, the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development  and the Clean Technology Fund.

Ernesto Pernia, NEDA director-general, last week said he had met with Michael Dino, presidential assistant for Visayas who said he had a proposal for  a hybrid LRT-Subway project.

 In concept, the project proposal includes an LRT line that runs from the south of Cebu (outside the city), and transitions into a subway line traversing the Cebu City Center. It then shifts again into an LRT line going north of the City.

 Pernia personally found this proposal conceptually better than the BRT, given the narrow streets of Cebu City.

However, Pernia clarified  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 FS.
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