The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said that the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is right on track; that the project is actually on its final design.
In addition to that, the DOTr said that it is on point on its track for the first (1st) phase of implementation on the last quarter of the year 2021.
New and improvised design plan
With many modifications and plans, the Department also said that the new and improved design plan of the BRT gives a wholly dedicated corridor to passengers.
Moreover, they said that this new design would be for the reliability of service, better connectivity, and enhanced and simplified ease of movement.
In addition, they said that the new design includes a separate lane dedicated only to the Cebu BRT. This new plan somehow shifts from the initial plan which combines both dedicated and mixed-traffic lanes for the service.
The Cebu Integrated and Intermodal Transport System (CIITS)
Cebu’s BRT forms a slight part of the Cebu Integrated and Intermodal Transport System (CIITS).
This system’s aim is to promote and develop enhanced mobility and connectivity for Cebu travelers using different types of public transportation.
The DOTr made a mention that they tapped and sought help from Egis International, their technical support consultant to be able to evaluate its feasibility on the technical aspect.
Both the Agence Française Développement (AFD) and the World Bank (WB) supported and approved of this move by the DOTr.
The update is just an improved version of the initial plan
According to Mark De Leon, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary for Road Transport, the design plan for the Cebu BRT is merely an improvisation of the initial design of the project.
He also said that this was duly approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) back in 2014. And, that the improvements and enhancements included are still within the said approved conceptual plan.
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 demands, but factors in future infrastructure development, expansions and extensions.”
In addition to that, he said that the misconception might have come from the plan to divide the project into different phases.
What was perceived as route reduction was the division of the project into three phases under the new design plan.”
When will the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) be operational?
Since the DOTr decided that the Cebu BRT is to be divided into different phases, completion of the first phases would allow the start of initial operations.
Phase one (1) of the Cebu BRT will become operational before the end of 2021. Of course, since it’s just the first (1st) phase, some parts of it might still not be fully completed.
Phases two (2) and three (3) of the entire alignment, however, has a target to be completed by year 2025; as indicated in both the original and in the new project design plans.
So by December 2021, the 1st phase of the Cebu BRT would already have been established and built. Along with its completion, dedicated paths of buses from the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) to the Capitol via Osmeña Boulevard would also be done.
The following phases; Phases two (2) and three (3) will extend and expand the dedicated BRT lanes to Talamban (north part) and Bulacao and SRP (south part).
As per the Department of Transportation, this three-year allowance prior to the completion and implementation of both phases 2 and 3 is to obtain and get enough time to acquire the necessary Right of Way (ROW); while Phase 1 is under construction and perfection.
Soon enough, our generation would have experienced better public transportation in Cebu. Hopefully, the DOTr decides to construct the same system in the Metro; it could be a drastic improvement to both motorists and commuters in the years to come.
Could the completion of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) be the start of a whole new level of public transport in the country? Could this spark an improvement we’ve been looking for all our lives?