Villarete: BRT infrastructure’s completion pushed to 2021
CEBU CITY, Philippines—The completion of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in Cebu is pushed to 2021 following the integration of some changes in the design, setting back the Detailed Engineering Design (DED) by at least eight months.
According to Nigel Paul Villarete, the Cebu City administrator, some ‘minute’ changes in the packaging mainly aimed at synchronizing the staging with the other fixtures of the BRT metro system would push back the completion of the BRT infrastructure from its original plan in 2020 to a year after.
Villarete also said that even when the BRT infrastructure would be completed by 2021, the buses might not be operational by then since the Department of Transportation (DOTr) would still procure the necessary services for the operational systems and the business case plan for system management and operations.
“We hope this could also be done soon, or we would be having a very nice BRT road and stations in 2021 without buses running on it. We hope not. We are confident (the) DOTr can do this well, and we would do our utmost to provide all the help and support,” said Villarete.
Read more: DOTr insists BRT will be completed by 2020
On January 24 to 31, the DOTr along with the World Bank and the AFD (Agence Française de Développement) held an Implementation Support Mission for the Cebu (BRT) project to fast-track all components of project implementation and try to finish it as soon as possible.
The BRT was almost cancelled in April 2018 after the series of delays of its project components especially on the non-engagement of the Technical Support Consultant (TSC).
The TSC was engaged by the DOTr on October 2018 and was instructed to provide mechanisms for connectivity of the Cebu BRT to the overall “integrated, intermodal” system for Metro Cebu.
“This is a good move because it will ensure that the Cebu BRT, which will be completed first, will be ready to be integrated to the latter systems that have not been developed and approved by NEDA yet. After all, we don’t want a disconnected and dysfunctional system,” said Villarete.
Villarete said he was hoping that the agencies involved in the project would “do their utmost” to recover from the delays
“Year 2021 is a fairly ambitious target but doable with everyone’s support. And this needs everybody’s support,” he said. /dbs
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