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Buses to ply BRT routes from Fuente to south Cebu starting March

Updated: Feb 23, 2020

Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade (2nd from right) visits Cebu to discuss the Metro Cebu Integrated and Intermodal Transport System project. (Photo from DOTr Facebook)

A bus system that will mimic the proposed Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system will be introduced on March 15, 2020 to help minimize traffic congestion while the BRT infrastructure is being constructed in Metro Cebu.

This Interim Bus Service (IBS) will provide trunk service until the P16-billion BRT itself starts partial operations in December 2021, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said in a social media post Saturday, February 22, 2020.

Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade and Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, in a meeting Saturday, agreed to implement the Interim Bus Augmentation Program from Fuente Osmeña to the southern part of Metro Cebu on March 15, 2020.

"But Secretary Tugade clarified that this not yet the BRT that the Cebu will have.The Interim Bus Transport System will focus first in the South of Cebu and will ply buses that will serve as the start of the preparation in implementing the BRT in Cebu," the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas said in a separate Facebook post Saturday.

The Cebu BRT project, which is delayed by more than five years and financed partly by the World Bank, is now part of the proposed Metro Cebu Integrated and Intermodal Transport System (MCIITS).

Phase 1 of the BRT from the Cebu South Bus Terminal to Capitol is targeted for partial operations by December 2021. Phase 2, from Bulacao/Talisay to Talamban, is eyed for partial operations by March 2022.

Related Story: Metro Cebu intermodal transport system targeted end of 2021

Tugade was in Cebu Saturday to lead the DOTr team in a meeting with the Bus Rapid Transit National Project Management Team and the project’s technical support consultant Egis International.

Egis, which was awarded the P295.2-million consultancy in December 2017, is reviewing and validating the detailed engineering design (DED) for the BRT project.

"Currently, the BRT is under the review and validation of documents and Detailed Engineering Design (DED) with the on-board Technical Support Consultant (TSC)," the OPAV stated.

During the meeting, Tugade reiterated the need to fast track the procurement and construction of the BRT system.

Under the MCIITS project, the BRT will serve as a feeder line of the Cebu Monorail.

As a feeder line, BRT buses will travel under a loop system that will serve passengers getting off the monorail coaches and transport them to the peripheral destinations.

As of December 2019, the World Bank noted that the DED study resumed upon the re-mobilization of the consultant.

“On BRT operations and management, initial assessment of potential arrangements for BRT operation and management has been carried out,” the World Bank said in a report dated November 27, 2019.

The World Bank also said the baseline survey of affected jeepney operators, drivers, and vendors has been completed.

Read World Bank document here.

Meanwhile, the monorail project has been submitted to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) for evaluation by the Investment Coordination Committee Technical Board.

The project is an unsolicited proposal by Udenna Infrastructure Corporation. It is estimated to cost P80 billion and will be undertaken through the public-private partnership (PPP) program.

The proposal is to establish two lines: the 17-kilometer Central Line from Talisay City to Cebu City; and the 9-kilometer Airport Line from Cebu City to the Mactan Cebu International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City. (Ventures Cebu)

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