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BRT vs LRT: President’s Visayas man wants to stop Cebu City’s rapid bus project

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PRESIDENTIAL ASSISTANT for the Visayas Michael Lloyd L. Dino said he will lobby for the cancellation of the bus rapid transport (BRT) project in Cebu City, citing that it is not the best mass transport system for the congested city. “I will lobby before the President and all other government agencies to cancel the BRT project. This project will only prove disastrous for Cebu,” he said on Friday following a presentation by Rene S. Santiago, a transport engineer and former president of the Transportation Science Society of the Philippines. “What we need is an LRT (light rail transit). Manila has already eight LRTs, unya (but) Cebu kay (has) zero,” Mr. Dino said. Mr. Santiago, in his presentation, said the BRT cannot solve the rising demand for “ridership” in Cebu, as it will only “replace” existing jeepneys. For the local government, City Administrator Nigel Paul C. Villarete said in an interview with The Freeman that they are already preparing to ask the Department of Transportation to conduct a feasibility study for the second phase of the BRT project now that the first phase is underway. The budget for the first phase of the BRT, which has been raised to P16.9 billion from P10.6 billion due to the higher cost for right-of-way (ROW) acquisition, has been approved by the technical board of the National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee, according to Rafael Christopher L. Yap, head of the BRT Project Implementation Unit. The ROW acquisition process is underway. “For now, the key is we will implement the first phase of the BRT,” Mr. Villarete said. — The Freeman

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