Purisima: Investing on BRT system supports rapid and sustainable growth
Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima signed the loan agreement for the World Bank’s Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project on behalf of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines last 14 October 2014. The project is set to improve the overall performance of the urban passenger transport system in the Project Corridor in Cebu City, with an emphasis on the quality and level of service, safety, and environmental efficiency.
The Cebu BRT Project includes the development of segregated BRT bus-ways from Bulacao to Ayala, with a link to Cebu’s South Road Property, a feeder service between Ayala and Talamban with signal priority, 33 stations expected to service 330, 000 people per day in 2015, 176 buses, an area stop light control for the whole city of Cebu, and a central transport control room. The World Bank will provide funding of USD 116 million from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and USD 25 million from its Clean Technology Fund (CTF).
The project, once complete, is expected to service an average of 433, 000 individual trips per day. The Cebu BRT is projected to save 25 minutes of travel time and P7.50 in fares. In signing the agreement, Secretary Purisima said, “Our improved public finances have enabled us to spend more confidently on public investments supporting our rapid growth. As Cebu City is fast becoming one of our prime urban centers, investing in sound infrastructure lays solid groundwork for a more sustainable growth trajectory.”
The Philippine government and the World Bank chose to undertake the development of a bus rapid transit system because of its low cost (5% to 10% of rail), quick construction (around 2 years), and its higher quality of service despite having the same capacity as rail. Cebu City was also a prime location for the BRT system, as it is governed by a single local government unit supportive of the project and has high Public Utility Jeep (PUJ) dominance with no significant bus presence.
The Department of Transportation and Communications will serve as the implementing agency. The project is expected to run from 2013-2018, and will be operation from 2018 to 2030 and beyond.