By MYLA IGLESIAS
The Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (Cebu BRT) is on track for partial operation by December 2021 and full operation by 2025.
Cebu BRT, which forms part of the Cebu Integrated and Intermodal Transport System (CIITS), aims to promote enhanced mobility and connectivity for Cebuanos traversing through various modes of public transportation such as road-based land transport, railway, and other transport infrastructure projects in the pipeline.
By December 2021, the Cebu BRT Phase 1 will have been established along dedicated busways from Cebu South Bus Terminal to Capitol via Osmeña boulevard. Phases 2 and 3 will extend the dedicated BRT lanes to Bulacao and SRP in the south, and Talamban in the north.
The three-year allowance before the implementation of Phases 2 and 3 while Phase 1 is under construction will give government enough time to acquire the right-of-way.
Phase 1 of the Cebu BRT will become operational before the end of 2021, while phases 2 and 3 of the entire alignment, as indicated both in the original and in the new project designs, are targeted to be fully operational by 2025.
Mark De Leon, DOTr undersecretary for road transport, said no changes were made on the alignment of the Cebu BRT and the improvements are still within the National Economic Development Authority -(NEDA) approved conceptual plan.
This is despite the fact that the project has been approved by NEDA as far back as 2014.
“No changes were made on the alignment of the Cebu BRT. It was, in no way, shortened. In fact, to this day, the plan calls for a route of 23 kilometers. Simply put, design considerations are not confined to present demand, but factors in future infrastructure development, expansions and extensions,” De Leon said.
The project aims to will improve the traffic situation in Metro Cebu, help spur regional growth even in adjacent cities and towns, and bring comfort and convenience to the commuters of the sprawling metropolis in Central Philippines.
To assess the technical feasibility and soundness of the design plan of the Cebu BRT, the DOTr engaged the service of a technical support consultant (TSC), Egis International, a move supported by the World Bank and the Agence Française Développement which helped in crafting the feasibility study on the project.
The TSC crafted the Metro Cebu Integrated Intermodal Transport Plan (MCIITP), which identified corridors where mass transit systems should be developed. In serving its purpose to guide the alignment of future mass transit developments, the MCIITP aims to provide a seamless and integrated mass public transport system not just in Cebu City but also in adjacent cities.