Rama says BRT, LRT can co-existBy Doris C. Bongcac, Tweeny M. Malinao
Cebu Daily News
With the Bus Rapid Transit project almost assured, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he is open to the idea of having a Light Rail Transit in other parts of Metro Cebu.
Rama said the two modes of transportation can co-exist.
“They can co-exist – LRT and BRT – basta wala lay maigo nga historical landmarks,” he said.
The LRT has long been suggested Cebu 1st district Rep. Eduardo Gullas to traverse cities of Mandaue, City and Talisay.
The P740 million project could later later extend south to Minglanilla, Naga, San Fernando, Carcar, Sibonga, Argao and Dalaguete.
The LRTproposal was set aside due to opposition of former mayor Tomas Osmeña, who championed the BRT system for Cebu City.
Rama said he has asked Gullas to formally present the LRT proposal the Regional Development Council (RDC) which he heads.
Rama said LRT routes may be established in areas not serviced by buses like mountain barangays or along the coast.
Meanwhile, the BRT was discussed in forum at the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (Rafi) office where concerns about funding, design and impact on jeepney drivers were raised.
Architect Antonio Valenzona of the University of San Carlos-College of Fine Arts and Architecture (USC-CAFA) asked how the scheme would affect local bus lines like KMK.
Roberto Aboitiz, RAFI president, asked about the fare rate to be charged and “Who is going to invest in this — the private sector or government?”
Aboitiz said the study should see the bigger picture considering the Filipino perspective.
Colin Brader, lead consultant of the BRT feasibility study, said jeepney routes would be changed.
“Anything that competes with the BRT wouldwill be regulated,” he said.
Dr. David Green, an independent environmental consultant earlier cited last Monday one of the risks and impacts of the BRT scheme is the disruption of economic livelihood of jeepney sector, some businesses along the BRT terminals, residences whose property needs to be fully acquired by the project, informal and ambulant vendors.
Eduardo Mara, provincial chief of the Regional Highway Patrol Unit 7 said they will have address changes in traffic flow with BRT.
Mara also cited problems on the displacement of jeepney drivers.
Brader said jeepneys will not disappear.
“The BRT will involve the deletion of some jeepney routes. Others will be altered to better relate to the BRT. Every effort will be mae to find jobs for those that would lose their jobs as part of this reorganization,” he said.