CEBU CITY, Philippines — Expect delays when travelling along Osmeña Boulevard in Cebu City, now that construction works have commenced for phase 1 of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.
Paul Gotiong, head of the public mass transportation division of the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO), said only two lanes of the national highway remain passable since the project’s implementation started on February 27.
But congestion can be remedied if the loading and unloading of passengers are not done in areas located close to the construction site, he said during the City Hall organized ‘Panaghisgot’ forum held on Tuesday, March 21.
“For the commuters also, I wanted to emphasize kay mao among nabantayan bitaw, ayaw sa lang mo og sakay or hunong og public utility vehicles within the area of the construction kay especially those with one lane lang bitaw [along Osmeña Blvd.]. It would really hurt and mas maka pa-slow down g’yod siya sa atong movement sa traffic,” he said.
During the forum, Gotiong said they are trying their best to make the entire Osmeña Boulevard passable during the construction phase.
But they would also need the cooperation of the motorists as well as the commuters.
“We made sure that the public transport system will remain in that area, [so] as to not confuse our commuters also and katong mga private vehicles since they can have their own routes naman, sila nalang mangita sa ilang alternative routes,” he said.
Earlier, Gotiong told CDN Digital that phase one of the BRT project would be divided into 10 segments.
This March, the construction site covers portions of Osmeña Boulevard located in front of the CAP building, the vicinity of Arlington Pond, until the vicinity of Shell gasoline station located shortly before R.R. Landon Road intersection.
Because of the ongoing construction works, travel in this part of the national highway would experience delays by a few minutes.
Gotiong is also urging, especially the private vehicle owners, to look for alternative routes so as not to contribute to the volume of traffic in these areas.
“If you are in Fuente, going south ka, pwede man gyod ta muagi sa atong V. Rama nga road. If gikan sa north area, pwede muagi sa Jakosalem or via Ramos [Street],” he said.
The Cebu BRT, the first in the country, had its ceremonial groundbreaking last Feb. 27, 2023.
Based on the contract signed by the Hunan Road and Bridge Construction Group Co. and the Department of Transportation, the Cebu BRT’s phase one will be partially operational by December 2023 and fully operational during the second quarter of 2025.
The BRT can accommodate 60,000 passengers daily during the first year of its operation and could cater to around 160,000 passengers once it is fully operational.
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