BRT may be awarded before P-Noy exits

By: Carmel Loise Matus March 31,2016 - 10:25 PM

THE awarding of the winning bidder of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project may be done before President Benigno Aquino III leaves office, Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said yesterday.

In yesterday’s press conference, Abaya said they are now nearing the completion of the detailed engineering design for the BRT. Once completed, he said a specific timeline may be in place.

“There is no shortcut to this. I know people have the right to be impatient, but we want to do the project properly. Level off the playing field,” he told reporters.

Abaya said the next phase will be the actual construction of the project that may take a year or a year and a half. This will be followed by the bidding for the operations and maintenance.

Abaya said public utility vehicles like passenger jeepneys won’t be phased out once the BRT becomes fully operational.

He said jeepney drivers will be prioritized in the search for drivers of the buses.

Jeepney drivers, who wish to continue driving their units, may also transport passengers from the BRT bus stops to routes not covered by the BRT. “They are not dislodged from the system,” Abaya said.

Asked if the project would be suspended by the next administration, Abaya said it will be a “political suicide to whoever would disrupt the BRT.”

The P10.26-billion project is funded by World Bank, with US $116-million from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and 25-million USD from its Clean Technology Fund.

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