The Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) System will be partially operational by the end of this year.
Assistant Secretary Anthony Gerard ‘Jonji’ Gonzales of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) made this disclosure during the Cabinet Report program.
“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,” Gonzales reported.
“The next big step for Cebu BRT is land acquisition and bidding,” he added
Earlier this month, CBRT Package 1 had reached the publication and bidding stage and 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 Osmeña Blvd, Cebu City.
According to Gonzales, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is in charge of the expansion of the national road while the concerned local government unit will be responsible for local roads.
Package 1 is the 2.38 kilometers of dedicated bus lane from CSBT to the Capitol area while Package 2 and 3 involve the establishment of trunk service from SRP to CSBT via Natalio Bacalso Avenue and from Capitol to IT Park with terminals at SRP and IT Park.
Upon completion, the CBRT will be fielding 250 buses with at least 21 stations and 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 the feeder to trunk service, Gonzales explained.
The CBRT project is a component of the planned Metro Cebu Integrated Intermodal Transportation System or (MCIITS).
“The MCIITS seeks to integrate a monorail system, a cable car system and BRT to provide an efficient public land transportation,” Gonzales stressed, adding it will solve traffic congestion in Metro Cebu.
Aside from the CBRT, other components of the transportation projects include several monorail and ferry boat services from Carcar City to Danao City as well as cable car from Lahug area to Busay, Cebu City.
Gonzales said that upon the directive of the government to address the traffic congestion problem in Cebu, government agencies, such as Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Transportation, together with OPAV are working on an intermodal transport system for Metro Cebu.
At present, 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 bus units operated by Bacolod-based Vallacar Transit, which also operates the Ceres Bus line.