BRT and the Cebuano commuter
There is a lot of anticipation, frustration even, from Cebuanos over the long delayed implementation of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project.
However, there is a need to educate stakeholders on what BRT actually is since it is clear from discussions online and offline that there is a lack of understanding over what BRT is and what its expected results are for Cebu City.
The generally accepted definition of BRT, according to the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy’s BRT Planning Guide of 2007, is that it is a “high-quality bus-based transit system that delivers fast, comfortable, and cost effective urban mobility through the provision of segregated right of way infrastructure, rapid and frequent operations and excellence in marketing and customer service.”
As envisioned, the BRT project is not meant to solve the traffic congestion in Cebu City.
In the long run, there may be a migration from private car use to public transport as we add more lines to the system, but BRT is a mass transportation and urban renewal project — not a traffic management project.
What it hopes to do is to give the vast majority of road users — the commuting public — a “premium quality, economic, user-oriented mass transit system that will appeal to the entire spectrum of residents, workers and visitors to Cebu, and will significantly contribute to Cebu’s desire to improve its economic, environmental and social conditions.”
This means that public utility vehicle commuters will no longer feel like they are second-class citizens every time they have to squeeze in a cramped multicab.
They will no longer have to deal with the indignity of barkers insisting to defy the laws of physics by cramming 12 people in a space meant for six. No more suffering fumes of smoke-belching vehicles or the ever-present dust of the city streets.
Instead they will experience first class treatment the moment they step into the station. Turnstiles will separate the waiting areas from the outside for protection. Fare collection will be state of the art, using smart cards that will be useable for other services.
The air-conditioned buses arriving regularly ensure that the ride will be comfortable and consistent. Bus exclusive lanes and upgraded traffic signals guarantee that the buses move you quickly and safely to your destination.
Buses will not wait until they are full before they leave. The cornerstone policy of BRT is rapid and frequent service. You did not arrive on time for your bus? Don’t worry; another bus will be coming your way.
Schedules and operations will also be linked online for passengers to check via their mobile phones. All this for an affordable fare!
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