Tugade orders 24/7 construction for Cebu BRT
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is aiming for the long-delayed Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to be partially operational this 2021.
In doing so, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has ordered a ‘round-the-clock’ construction of the project’s components.
“The transport chief ordered the Cebu BRT project management team and the other concerned transportation officials to implement a 24/7 construction work schedule, with three work shifts that will employ and generate jobs for more local residents of the province,” DOTr said in a statement in issued on January 25.
Tugade was in Cebu last Wednesday, January 20 to meet local officials tasked with the construction of the multi-million project that has yet to fully take off.
DOTr said Tugade wanted Cebu BRT to start partial operations this year.
They added that having 24/7 construction activities of the transportation project would also mean generating hundreds of jobs in Cebu, and 90 percent of the workforce must come from here.
“While I’m addressing our program of projects, I am addressing the need of the economy and I’m addressing the requirements of the pandemic,” Tugade was quoted as saying.
The DOTr chief also wanted that Cebu BRT’s schedule and timeline of completion ‘will be aligned with the election ban next year and that the procurement process should be fast-tracked’.
Its route covered a total of 13.2 kilometers, DOTr said, and will traverse the South Road Properties (SRP) through Barangay Mambaling, up to Cebu I.T. Park in Barangay Apas.
Primary components included 17 stations, two terminals, and one depot.
The agency also said there will be a 20.2-kilometer bus feeder system to run with mixed traffic with the following routes and stops: Cebu I.T. to Barangay Talamban, Barangay Mambaling to Barangay Bulacao, and Talisay City to SRP.
“On its completion and once fully operational, the Cebu BRT aims to serve around 60,000 passengers daily,” DOTr noted.
Cebu BRT, which currently costs P17 billion, has been in the pipeline for around a decade.
It was the subject of not only several political debates and tugs-of-war but also audit reports as state auditors have flagged, multiple times, the delays the project has incurred since its inception.
Funds amounting to US$ 198-million from the World Bank (WB) and the French government, through the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) — two of the world’s largest financial institutions that grant loans for the realization of a country’s capital projects — were poured into the project.
Last March 2020, an interim-bus service in Cebu City, called CiBus, was launched to mimic and provide a simulation of the Cebu BRT. /dbs
RELATED STORY: CiBus launched, to accommodate 20 passengers for now
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