Questions on mass transport plans for Cebu
There are questions to be raised in the so-called “basket of solutions” mentioned by the Department of Transportation (DOTR) for Metro Cebu as contained in a press statement by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas.
But we use as reference point some statements made by President Rodrigo Duterte on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) versus Light Railway Transit (LRT) issue during his visit to Cebu for the inauguration of the second terminal of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
To sum it up, President Duterte acknowledged that the BRT-LRT issue had been muddled by “politics” and “rivalry,” and that the solution he saw for the problem was for the national government to take over in implementing the infrastructure and facilities for Metro Cebu’s mass transport system.
The OPAV statement released recently mentioned that the BRT will be retained but it won’t be implemented in roads with less than three lanes to avoid congesting traffic.
What was interesting was the mention of a so-called “point to point (P2P)” bus system that would pick up and transport commuters from one area to another with no stops in between.
It pretty much sounds just like the BRT which has designated loading and unloading terminals. Is this P2P a copycat, duplicate project? How will it be funded and will it be the DOTR or the private sector that will operate it?
Also mentioned was the operation of a monorail for Mactan Island and the LRT for Metro Cebu and Cebu province and in that respect, it is just as well.
The train system ideally should serve to link towns and cities and not built in the inner city areas or within the city’s streets and roads where it will compete and not complement for precious road space with passenger jeepneys, trucks and motorists.
For inner city transport, the BRT or a similar system is suitable.
Clean, roomy, airconditioned buses with designated terminals and loading/unloading areas with no stopping in the middle of traffic like passenger jeepneys is the way to go.
Also, while the BRT is just waiting for implementation and got hostaged by those with questionable ulterior motives, we should demand more transparency and accountability from those pushing for the LRT even if it will be implemented at no cost to the government.
The cost comes through fares which will be paid for by commuters in years to come. Finally, the proposed transport system for Cebu should hopefully lead to decongesting Metro Cebu since workers from the province can go home more easily without having to spend more by renting or building their own houses in the cities.
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