DOTr fails to accomplish targets to start 1st phase of BRT project

THE processes needed for the first phase of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in Cebu City to start remain unaccomplished.

This was what City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco told reporters in a recent interview.

Cuenco, transportation committee chairman, said the Department of Transportation (DOTr) had targeted to complete some important processes within the month of May to jumpstart the first phase of the BRT project by June.

These included getting the approval of the National Economic and Development Authority on the updated phase’s cost and scope, which is needed for the releasing of funds by the Department of Budget and Management and evaluating the contract of the winning bidder.

“Not one of them has been accomplished. Mao ma na’y target nila nga May (Their target was to have these done in May),” said Cuenco.

As a result, Cuenco said the December 2021 target to partially open the BRT “may be a blur.”

“How can you expect them to be on target if that’s the status now?” he said.

The first phase of the BRT project covers 2.6 kilometers to three kilometers of a dedicated bus lane from the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) on N. Bacalso Ave. to the Provincial Capitol on Osmeña Blvd.

The proponent of the BRT project targeted to initially roll out the first phase of the project by December 2021.

Since all these procedures are concerns of the DOTr central office, Cuenco said all he can do is make followups and urge the concerned agencies to give updates on the project.

Cuenco said he hopes the project will not be affected by the elections next year like changing BRT routes should there be a change in administration.

“Every time there is a new admin, the route changes. Hopefully, it will not be changed anymore,” he said.

The first package of the BRT project will cover 2.6 kilometers to three kilometers of a dedicated bus lane from the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) to the Capitol area and encompass four stations, including Capitol, Fuente, CSBT and Cebu North Bus Terminal.

The Cebu BRT has funds amounting to US$198 million both from the World Bank and the French government, through the Agence Francaise de Developpement.

Meanwhile, Phase 2 will run from Bulacao, Talisay, to Talamban, Cebu City and is expected to be completed by March 2022.

There will be three feeder stations: Talamban to Cebu IT Park, Talisay to Mambaling and Talisay to the South Road Properties.

The BRT project, which has a total budget of P17 billion, will The BRT is part of the planned Integrated Intermodal Transportation System (IITS) in Cebu. The IITS, initiated by the DOTr, targets the integration of the BRT, monorail system and a cable car system. (JJL)