Villarete tells DOTr: Implement BRT project now

By Morexette Erram |June 15,2018 - 06:46 PM

The solution to Cebu City’s transport concerns is not cheap.

Neither should this be considered as a business venture with huge financial returns.

City Administrator Nigel Paul Villarete said that for a mass transport system to work, this will require the infusion of government subsidies.

Villarete posted his sentiments on his Facebook page with hopes that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will still push with the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects in the city.

While he agrees with transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on the need to come up with a basket of solutions to the city’s growing congestion problems, these solutions should not be made to compete with each other.

Continuously shelving the BRT project is also seen to further worsen congestion on city streets.

“We remain hopeful to DOTr will be true to its word (on implementing a basket of solutions)… Public mass transportation works best when there are no competing solutions fighting for ridership,” Villarete said on FB.

The World Bank (WB) on Monday said that the proposed BRT remains a viable solution to the city’s traffic concerns.

During his press conference on Friday, Mayor Tomas Osmeña ones again challenged Tugade on his “basket of solutions.”

“Where’s your basket of solutions? They offer an empty basket. As what Tugade was offering, it’s an empty basket. Hoy gising! It’s an empty basket. There’s nothing there,” said Osmeña.

Osmeña also expressed disappointment on attempts to divert Cebu City’s BRT project allocation to a similar project in Metro Manila.

He said it seems that the DOTr is focusing development efforts on Metro Manila while leaving the rest of the country behind.

“They (DOTr) did not help us one bit. Manila has all the flyovers. They have all the LRT. They have all the MRTs. Now they want to get the BRT and they say Cebu is not satisfactory,” the mayor said.

Osmeña said that if the BRT project were not implemented in the city, this would deprive Cebuanos of a solution to their traffic woes.

“If we don’t have it (BRT project), I don’t lose. It’s the people who lose. I just want to show to the people of Cebu that I’ve worked over 10 years for this,” said Osmeña.

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