CEBU CITY – The Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) System will be partially operational by the end of this year and fully operational in early 2023, the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) said on Tuesday.
“The DOTr (Department of Transportation), through Secretary Arthur Tugade, maintains that even if we are struck by the Covid pandemic, they remain to target partial operation of the project by December 2021 and full operation by January 2023. The next big step for Cebu BRT is land acquisition and bidding,” OPAV Assistant Secretary Anthony Gerard Gonzales said in a statement.
Last Feb. 8, CBRT Package 1 had reached the publication and bidding stage, he added. Package 1 is scheduled for completion by December this year.
CBRT Package 1 comprises four bus stations from the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) up to the Capitol area, along the Osmeña Boulevard in this city.
Gonzales said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is in charge of the expansion of the national road while the concerned local government here will be responsible for local roads.
The first package spans around 2.38 kilometers of dedicated bus lane from CSBT to the Capitol area. On the other hand, Package 2 and 3 involve the establishment of trunk service from the South Road Properties (SRP) to CSBT via Natalio Bacalso Avenue and from Capitol to IT Park with terminals at SRP and IT Park.
There is an ongoing finalization of parcellary mapping for the detailed engineering design for Package 2, which will cover 10.8 kilometers.
“There are delays in consultancy and in the parcellary mapping because the team could not optimally go to the ground due to the pandemic,” Gonzales said.
Upon its completion, the CBRT will be fielding 250 buses with at least 21 stations, he added. It will serve around 60,000 passengers a day.
Packages 1, 2 and 3 will form Phase 1 of the CBRT while for Phase 2, the plan is to convert feeder to trunk service, Gonzales said.
The Cebu BRT system will operate along both a dedicated transit way and in mixed traffic segment. The project corridor is about 23 kilometer long, from Bulacao to Talamban including SRP.
The project is being supported by the Cebu city government, the Cebu provincial government and Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Dino.
The CBRT project is a component of the planned Metro Cebu Integrated Inter-modal Transportation System (MCIITS).
“The MCIITS seeks to integrate a monorail system, a cable car system and BRT to provide an efficient public land transportation,” Gonzales said. “It will answer the problem on traffic congestion in Metro Cebu.”
Aside from the CBRT, there will be several components such as monorail and ferry boat services from Carcar City to Danao City as well as cable car from Lahug area to Busay, Cebu City.
Upon the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to address the traffic congestion problem in Cebu, government agencies such as DPWH and DOTr, together with OPAV, are working on an intermodal transport system for Metro Cebu.
Meanwhile, the Cebu Interim Bus service (CIBus) has been operating for months now. It is a precursor transport service that mimics the CBRT and aims to improve connectivity and mobility in Cebu City.
There are 20 low floor, low entry buses operated by Bacolod-based Vallacar Transit, which also operates the Ceres Bus.
The first CIBus route is from Fuente Osmeña down to SRP via Natalio Bacalso Avenue and vice versa. But it extended its service on Sept. 9 last year from IT Park to SRP. By operating during the pandemic, CIBus has helped Cebuano commuters, Gonzales said. (PNA)