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BRT to later replace MyBus

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita, Vanessa Claire Lucero January 23,2016 - 12:33 AM

THERE will be Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes that will eventually lead to the Mactan airport in the years ahead.

This will coome  after the main BRT system from Bulacao to Talamban becomes operational in 2018, said  Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.

MyBus units started operating in November, and seeks to  serve  the Talisay-to-airport developmental route.

“The MyBus system is actually the phase 2 of the Cebu BRT but there was a proponent who wanted to execute this. We welcomed it. They’re now going to be plying this route, but eventually when phase 2 comes along, they will have to do away with that bus service,” the official added.

Abaya said MyBus operator Metro Rapid Transit Services, Inc. (MRTSI) is welcome to bid for the BRT routes going to the airport.

“That’s how I see it to be. Of course they could always join and participate. But you can’t just grant that to a particular concessionaire. It has to be bid out in a competitive environment,” Abaya said.

He said the agency’s  biggest concern is how to make the BRT system benefit jeepney drivers and operators who will be displaced.

One  suggestion was for jeepneys to ply routes on the outskirts of the main BRT route, and transport passengers from their homes to the main route.

“It only realizes its full potential if you minimize competition, likewise you minimize traffic on the unsegregated path and allow the jeeps to feed into the system,” he said.

The complete detailed engineering design (DED) for the BRT will be  completed  this quarter. A working DED will be finished by the end of this month. Bidding of the infrastructure component  will follow.

The BRT system, set to be operational by 2018, will be the first of its kind in the country.

Meanwhile, transferring the Sinulog Grand Parade route to the North Reclamation Area (NRA) will help facilitate civil works for the first phase of the CebuBRT, said Rafael Yap said.

He said they target to start the actual construction along the Osmeña Blvd. corridor of the project within the year.

“It all ties in together because while we’re constructing the corridor (Osmeña Blvd.), we can’t use it for Sinulog. It’s okay if it’s transferred to the North Reclamation Area,” Yap said about Mayor Michael Rama’s plan to  to transfer the Sinulog parde route to the NRA.

Construction of the BRT route will start first along Osmeña Blvd. because there are not a lot of road right-of-way acquisition issues there and the roads are wide.

With this,  it would be better to hold the Sinulog at the NRA for the next three years after which the Sinulog will be transferred to the South Road Properties.

After Osmeña Blvd., Yap said the next part of the BRT project will be the development of the new roads in the SRP.

“Our construction schedule has not come out yet. But the key objective is to begin construction this year. Because our target based on our timeline is that we will finish before 2018 ends,” Yap said.

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TAGS: Bus Rapid Transit, Cebu, mass transportation, My Bus

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