Aquino announces new testing of Metro bus scheme




CEBU CITY, Philippines — After the first experiment was marred by problems, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system will again be tested in Metro Manila, according to President Benigno Aquino III.

In a news conference in Cebu on Friday, President Aquino did not say when the new test would happen but he emphasized that the BRT experiment should be held in Metro Manila again as it had the capacity to absorb traffic even if one lane would be used for BRT buses.

Aquino said the first experiment was implemented along Commonwealth Ave. but the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) apprehended the participating buses due to miscommunication among various agencies.

He said there would be a second experiment to determine if the BRT could be better than the LRT system, which was also pushed by Rep. Eddie Gullas of the Cebu 1st district.

The President, however, didn’t say when the phase 2 would be conducted.

He only cited the disadvantage in putting up an LRT system, including the construction of the rail itself which has to be in an elevated platform, the effect on historical buildings and structures and the need to have local government officials agree on the route.

The BRT system, which was first proposed by Rep. Tomas Osmeña, is a mode of transportation first implemented in Curitiba, Brazil, that requires buses to follow a dedicated lane and elevated platforms for waiting passengers.

The National Economic and Development Authority had deferred the approval of the BRT project for further study on its viability.

In a press conference held at the Ibo barangay (village) hall here before embarking on three campaign sorties on Friday, President Aquino said one of the quick solutions for the traffic problem in Cebu would be the BRT.

However, since one lane should be set aside for these buses, the BRT experiment might cause more traffic problems in Cebu, the President said.

“We are in the experimental stage. We want to prove or disprove the adaptability of this concept to the Philippine setting.”

If implemented, the BRT system would require an investment of about P9 billion for the dedicated lane for buses, equipment to give buses priority in the traffic light and the elevated waiting area, he said.

Aquino, however, maintained that there would be no problem on funding, as the peso has appreciated against the dollar and the country could get lower-interest loans due to its higher investment rating.

But the President said that before the government could provide funding for the project, it must make sure that the money would benefit the community.

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  • kilabot

    trial-and-error student council govt.

    • go88

      Not much learning from it’s errors I fear.

  • RyanE

    I guess this BRT will only function properly if it is government controlled and subsidized. If not this will just revert to the same chaotic condition. By all means, LRT or MRT would be better.

  • upupperclassman

    There is no need for all the experiments. The solution is very simple. Reduce the number of buses running on the streets. Most of them are empty with few passengers and refused to move forward.

  • joerizal

    BRT – bus reduction today!!!

  • boybakal

    Aquino announces new testing of Metro bus scheme

    From pledges and done deal when he travels, to Manila flood control project plan after flood, EDSA reha plan, Laguna flood plan
    Now, it is experiment and testing time on bus scheme.
    Plan, Schemes, Experiment, Publicity….we need action.

  • ranjoranido

    reduce the buses and add more trains running in LRT and MRT.

  • randyaltarejos

    I have a strong doubts that this BRT system will be effective in Metro Manila. Why? Because Metro Manila’s streets are already traffic congested and the the roads have not been expanded. Provincial buses must no longer be allowed inside Metro Manila. Instead, the government can institute a policy that will only allow provincial buses to park at terminals in Balintawak, Quezon City and the Alabang, Muntinlupa. In this way, the traffic gridlocks in Metro Manila will be drastically reduced. And passenger jeepneys should no longer be allowed to ply the streets after peak hours. That means that the passenger jeepneys can only pick up passengers starting at 5am to 10 am. and 4pm to 9pm.

  • randyaltarejos

    At the moment, the transport groups’ intentions are not really to help in decongesting Metro Manila. All they have in mind is to provide livelihood to their members at the expense of the millions of motorists and commuters who suffer the agony of lost man-hours at work and the inconveniences along the streets due to heavy traffic congestions.

  • boybakal

    Funny….there are too many serious problems the country is facing…
    And yet we have this Experiment, Trial and Error for Metro Bus.
    Only a kilometer solution to traffic problem.

  • jose_rizal11

    ang gagaling nyo ah, may masabi lng mga hambog kayo!!! ilan presidente nba nag daan d kinaya mga problema na yan d ganon kasimple na problema ang traffic sa city!!! at least ang gobyerno gumagawa ng paraan!!! ikaw ano ba naitutulong mo ha kabayan??? CRABS!!!

    • prolificity

      Ang dami kasi rito, akala sa gobyerno, isang mahusay na magician na kaya magbigay ng solusyon overnight. Ang galing pumuna, ang galing humanap ng mga dapat baguhin, eh hindi naman maka-tingin ng husto sa salamin upang naisin at simulan ang pagbabago sa sarili.

      • ARIKUTIK

        Ang pagbabago ay magmumula sa taas, pababa. Hindi mula sa baba, pataas kasi ang utak ay wala sa talampakan.

        Ngayon kung utak Abnoy ay anong maaasahan ? Trial and error ! eeewwww..

  • buttones

    Another fine example of 67 years of ‘planning’ resulting in chaos.It was easy to calculate the demand for public transport all them years ago, it’s simple demographic projection. No continuity of national policy from one family government to the next is the problem, a policy of stop and start, tinkering and experimenting. Don’t we have urban planners? The solution has to be viable in twenty years time- will it be? It seems we don’t do ‘future planning’.We need experts in this field to resolve this problem, not politicians barking- what do the experts have to say? The National Economic and Development Authority are still
    in ‘study’ mode after 67 years!

    • prolificity

      Fortunately, we do have urban planners and other thinkers who actually know their stuff. It’s just that the policymakers (aka career politicians and bureaucrats) think they know better and disregard the policy recommendations of experts, or they think first of pa-pogi than lasting solutions. Tragic.

      • buttones

        Well I’m sure we do have planners and guys who know about demographics and all the rest, but it appears, as both of us seem to be aware, the fly in the ointment of any progress is an endless succession of political families who are hell bent on playing politics at all costs, oblivious of the squalid conditions of the very cities they live and work in. Never mind ’wang wang’, the President should have passed an EO banning blacked out windows on vehicles so these people could see out of their cars the squalor and chaos they have created.


      None of them can come up with the idea of = “De-populate Metro Manila to solve her traffic troubles” or “Stop developing Metro Manila so that people will stop invading the place”. PH is 7,000 islands, Why the bulk of development funds is dump only in Metro Manila? All of them are short sighted Boinks……

      • buttones

        Why has Imperial Luzon always had the bulk of funds? Well that’s where most of the ‘movers and shakers’ have settled. This sort of thing needs experts, and politicians who will listen to experts. Then you have the problem PH wide of 79 provinces owned by 79 families who all want their feed at the public trough, so by the time resources filter down to my level there ’aint nothing left in the kitty. That’s why the roads in 95% of all PH villages remain unpaved, and the 5% that are paved is where the political types live…

  • prolificity

    This will only work if the government will operate its own BRT buses. To expect that the privately-owned, LTFRB-franchised buses will cooperate in a BRT scheme is too optimistic. Drivers and operators will still be after making money, unless they agree to a fixed salary instead of the boundary system. Penalize and disbar erring franchises instead and prevent their buses from being transferred easily from one operator to another. More than anything, we need reforms in the LTFRB and greater cooperation between these disparate transportation and traffic agencies.

  • ConcernedCitizenPh

    Pres Aquino should be commended for taking the lead in the importance of pilot tests to determine the feasibility of proposed projects & endeavors. He may seem to involve himself in “small things” but he is actually planting the seeds of innovation in this country. A lot of things could be improved at the least cost possible and without wasting important resources if pilot testing is practiced in government. It could change the way government offices and school buildings look, it could lead to the use of concrete reinforced with recycled plastics, and it could bring out the best in DOST, DPWH and other government offices among others. It may be a step closer to the standardization of costs in government. It will also weed out those who propose unproven options just to get a slice of the budgets alloted for specific projects. The economic rise of China is the result of pilot tests that started in Shenzhen 30 years ago. They made adjustments to the Shenzhen model until they arrived with the best one which they applied later to the whole of China.

  • disqusted0fu

    What is it with Pnoy and buses and trains? Is this some sort of fixation just like what he has for guns and fancy cars?

    Something as simple as this the government still encounters lapses and miscommunication… No wonder the Aquino government cannot solve the much bigger problems of the PH.

  • kismaytami

    I can’t help but wonder with other comments here. Looks like these guys drive their own vehicle and never experienced the ‘standing-ovation’ and ‘sardines-like’ situation of commuters on buses during rush hours. So why ask to reduce them? If they can’t even service the demand during rush hours. Yeah right, bus drivers are undisciplined as their jeepney counterparts. And they’ll have to be sanctioned for that. But just try to observe the number of private vehicles compared to the number of jam-packed buses plying EDSA during rush hour.

  • Fancy Tan

    If only they will add more trains on MRT, LRT and PNR and also revive the PNR North and South, less people will be driving and congestion will be lessen. Look how many cars are coming in from the south and north expressway? With upgraded PNR train service, traffic in Manila will be eased.

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