Will bus rapid transit remove bias against public transport?

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 24 2016 01:11 AM

MANILA-- The proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) system in Metro Manila will remove people's bias against public transport since the system is designed for customer satisfaction, an analyst said on Friday.

University of the Philippines Center for Transportation Studies professor Cresencio Montalbo said the BRT will move passengers faster while treating passengers as customers.

This means that the BRT is guided by the clear understanding of what users need. "It is designed and intended for everyone," Montalbo said.

The BRT system consists of exclusive lanes for BRT buses. It will occupy two exclusive lanes in major roads.

According to Montalbo, the BRT will also uphold "dignity of travel," which refers to people using public transport without being judged as "poor".

He added that the BRT also aims to reduce the number of erring public buses.

The National Economic and Development Authority has approved a proposed P38-billion BRT system on EDSA with a route of 48.6 kilometers. It will cover areas from Monumento up to Diosdado Macapagal Avenue and Roxas Boulevard.

EXISTING BUS OPERATORS ARE A PRIORITY

Montalbo said existing bus operators will be given priority in becoming BRT operators.

"International best practice dictates that incumbent or existing operators are given the first draft or try to become the BRT operators. They get the prescribed high quality BRT buses and are given the option to operate because BRT operations can be very lucrative so it's a very good investment for them," Montalbo said.

Under the BRT, bus operators will be paid based on the number of kilometers traveled regardless of the number of passengers.

Montalbo explained that physical infrastructure for BRT is less expensive compared to building skyways and rail systems and can be implemented within one and a half year to 2 years.

"The most expensive BRT is equivalent to the least expensive rail system on a per kilometer basis," he said.