Cebu City’s plan to adopt the bus rapid transit (BRT) system excites supporters and likewise raise the eyebrows of skeptics.
Several questions are asked. Is this just another solution that later become a problem? Will this only introduce a newly dressed-up buses that look novel at the start but still clog city streets? Will this system displace jeepney drivers and operators? Is BRT better that light rail transit (LRT) or metro rail transit (MRT)? Is this by far the best mass transport system for Cebu?
There are proposals to establish LRT system in Cebu City and whole metro Cebu but the city government is considering bus rapid transit system.
In Cebu Daily News report, Cebu City Planning and Development Officer Nigel Paul Villarete told that BRT system will be a more feasible mode of public transportation for Cebu City because its capital costs are lower compared to a metro rail system.
Cost is not the only variable being considered. Bus rapid transit (BRT) system has been admired and proven for its effectiveness in easing mobility of the people. Besides the system has been found flexible on its implementation.
In her visit to Cebu, President Gloria Arroyo expressed her support to the BRT project. Several sectors already expressed support while some are voicing out their doubts.
Recently, the Cebu City Planning and Development Office (CCPDO) invited members of SkyscraperCity – Cebu and the Cebu Bloggers Society to present the principles, concept, and plan of establishment of BRT system in Cebu. The presentation clarified issues and misunderstanding of the BRT system. I attended as member Cebu Bloggers Society.
Cebu City is eying the bus rapid transit system as the best solution for mass transport. Not only Cebu City but the whole Metro Cebu needs a mass transport system. It seems that our jeepneys are no longer viable. Considering the cost of putting light railway system (LRT), I think the city is on the right track when it considers BRT.
The BRT system is successfully implemented in Bogota, Columbia. Mayor Tomas Osmena, as private citizen, went Bogota to observe.
When Cebu press start to report about the City’s plan for BRT system, many immediately think of its ill-effects. What will happen to jeepney operators and drivers? This is the most asked question.
Affected sectors, according to Villarete are not left out. Although Villarete at this time cannot itemize the specific actions of the city for jeepney operators and drivers.
I think the most critical issue we should ask now is, what will happen to Cebu commuters in the next five to 10 years? Currently, we spend a lot of time traveling. If you are from Mandaue and you are heading Bulacao, you need to give a lot of extra time for travel to be on time on your appointment.
Without a feasible solution, in the next five to 10 years, we can expect more people, more cars, more jeepneys. But of course we cannot build roads at the rate that can equate the growing number of people, and vehicles. A joke erupted during Villarete’s presentation; we cannot convert the entire city to roads to accommodate cars.
There is an urgent need for a mass transport system but we don’t want a haphazard solution.
When Villarete was asked when we could expect BRT in Cebu, he estimated 2013.