Gov't eyes bus rapid transit systems to improve traffic

by Kathleen A. Martin,

Posted at Nov 22 2012 12:45 PM | Updated as of Nov 22 2012 08:46 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The government is eyeing more than one bus rapid transit (BRT) system in the country in hopes of improving traffic in populous cities, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said on Thursday.

"We will be presenting to the NEDA-ICC (National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee) ... the bus rapid transit system for Cebu," Abaya said during the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines, Inc.'s (EJAP) Economic Forum 2012.

A BRT system, Abaya said, consists of a designated lane for the buses and a dedicated passenger terminal.

In August, the government asked consultancy firms to submit a proposal for the design of the system, which is expected to be in operation by 2015.

Aside from the Cebu BRT, Abaya said the Ayala Group has submitted a proposal last year for a similar system that will ply from EDSA to Ayala.

"It is an unsolicited proposal because it would be difficult to match it in a Swiss challenge having your own private land (pertaining to Ayala Avenue)," Abaya said.

The proposal for the Ayala's BRT is still being threshed out by the DOTC before submits the project to the NEDA for approval.

The government is also mulling to put up a BRT system in the Ortigas area, Abaya said. However, he said this is still being studied by the DOTC as to what route the buses will ply.