In a city like Cebu City, where most of the streets are congested with traffic at all hours of the day, and travelers have to face long delays whether they travel by private or public transport systems, something like BRT or Bus Rapid Transit is necessary. Some of the main problems in congested cities like Cebu City as transportation is concerned is the average delay, pollution, discomfort and lack of infrastructure. BRT can be the answer to all these problems, because it brings to the table everything that other bus routes and conventional methods of public transport lack. The government of Cebu City has been working hard to get the project alive and working, and now that development has started, it has been promised that within two years the city will be ready to provide BRT service with all aspects of infrastructure such as Bus Shelter Display System, signs etc installed.
How Cebu City will be affected by this BRT system
The proposed route is from Natalio Bacalso Avenue in Barangay Bulacao to Gov. M. Cuenco Avenue in Barangay Talamban. This is one of the most congested and important routes there. In the second capital of Philippines, thousands of people avail this route on an hourly basis every day. This route is filled with intersections, narrow roads, and faulty signals that effect the travel time. Also, the buses are really uncomfortable for long travels. The buses are high, mostly with one entry and exit point slowing down the whole boarding and un-boarding process. There are many other such bottlenecks in the system. However, with the introduction of the new BRT system, all these problems can be solved with one sweep. That is why the government is so interested in installing the 33 new stops and 176 new buses.
Features of a good BRT system
Some of the basic features that a good BRT system should have, or buses that qualify for BRT should have include –
- The buses should have low doors so that it should not be difficult for travelers to get onboard and get off the buses.
- If the bus fare is collected by the driver, then an off-bus fare collection on the bus stops should be introduced.
- There should be multiple, at least 2, doors on the bus so that one can be used for getting on and one for getting off the bus.
- At intersections BRT buses should be given priority.
These are some of the optional qualifications for BRT buses. A BRT bus mainly follows the center lane on a three lane road to avoid side curb delays. On the 16 kilometer route from Natalio Bacalso Avenue in Barangay Bulacao to Gov. M. Cuenco Avenue in Barangay Talamban, there will be an estimated 3000 operators and drivers who will be working the buses. Additionally, there will be new infrastructures installed like LED bus stop signs etc. these will help drivers and passengers to make the process smoother.
Advantage of BRT over other conventional transport systems
The features of BRT makes it better than other conventional transport systems. All the drawbacks of these systems are overcome by BRT systems. The only con of BRT is that the conventional system may lose importance and operators and drivers in these systems will be out of jobs. However, alternative livelihood options for these operators and drivers have also been thought of. Additionally, as new and advanced infrastructure in the form of Bus transit Displays and Bus transit Signs have been introduced, training was given to the required drivers and operators. The whole process will drastically reduce delays and travel time in this 16 km long route.