Dev’t freeze in BRT routeBy Doris C. Bongcac
Cebu Daily News
The Technical Working Group overseeing preparations for the $211 million Bus Rapid Transit system in Cebu City is proposing a development moratorium along the 16-kilometer route of the mass transit system.
The moratorium is expected to hasten the expropriations of privately owned properties which may be affected by the mass transport system and to prevent any possible obstruction which may affect the establishment of any BRT infrastructure.
The BRT is designed to run in designated road lanes and will have elevated passenger platforms or terminals.
“There is a need to control development via the adoption of a development moratorium along the BRT corridor so as not to hamper the implementation of construction work of the BRT project as well as facilitate Road Right of Way acquisition,” said the resolution of the BRT Technical Working Group (TWG).
The resolution signed by TWG chairman and former city councilor Nestor Archival, was submitted to the City Council for the passage of a resolution that will order the implementation of a development moratorium.
The City Council has tasked majority floor leader Augustus Pe Jr. to draft the needed resolution.
The proposed moratorium will start in a portion of the Cebu South Road in barangay Bulacao, along N. Bacalso Avenue, Osmeña Boulevard to the junction of P. del Rosario Street, to the Provincial Capitol area, Escario Street, Ayala Business Park and Archbishop Reyes Avenue to the TESDA flyover.
The Cebu City Council approved last August 29 the BRT system feasibility study. The mass transport system study started two years ago.
Work on the detailed project design will start before the year ends and is expected to be finished in the second half of 2013.
Detailed project design will already include the road network, stops and intervals of the BRT system and the engineering design of buses.
Construction of the BRT’s infrastructure component will start during the last quarter of 2013. If targets are met, BRT operation would start during the fourth quarter of 2015.
Cebu Integrated Traffic Operation Management (Citom) Executive Dir. Rafael Yap, who concurrently heads the BRT project coordination office, said they will be presenting the final BRT feasibility study to World Bank officials who will be visiting the country within the month. The World Bank will assess, among others, the city’s technical and political preparedness to adopt the BRT system.
Approval of the feasibility study will facilitate the signing of the loan agreement between World Bank and the Government of the Philippines.
“Everything will be made final after the World Bank approves the loan,” he said.
The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), in coordination with the Cebu City government, will prepare and implement the project with the help of the British transport consultancy firm ITP, which has been engaged as the project’s lead consultant.
Yap said that it will also be the national government that will be paying the World Bank loan.
Collin Brader, lead consultant of the BRT feasibility study, said the BRT system will include 14 bus stops and will bring at least 1, 500 employment opportunities to Cebuanos.
This will include two drivers who are needed per shift, to man the 250 buses needed for the system.