WB flags Metro Manila BRT project implementation as ‘unsatisfactory’
Implementation of the Metro Manila bus rapid transit (BRT) project has remained sluggish five years since the World Bank (WB) approved its loan financing, the Washington-based multilateral lender said.
In a report last week, the World Bank said that the overall implementation progress of the Metro Manila BRT line 1 project being implemented by the Department of Transportation worsened to “unsatisfactory” from “moderately unsatisfactory” previously.
“The project did not secure general budget allocation for calendar year 2022; project implementation has been negatively affected due to the lack of budget,” the World Bank said.
In 2017, the World Bank approved a $40.7-million loan for the project; so far, merely $100,000 or 0.3 percent of this financing had been disbursed. The loan will close in November 2022, and the World Bank said “there has been no restructuring to date.”
The P5.5-billion, 11.5-kilometer BRT lane that will traverse Quezon Avenue and España Boulevard would have served as many as 300,000 passengers daily if it became operational as scheduled in June of this year.
The BRT would slash the travel time between the stations in Quezon Memorial Circle and Manila city hall from two hours at present to only 43 minutes through a system of 167 high-quality buses.
Like trains, BRT systems run on dedicated lanes, carrying large numbers of travelers faster and safer. But unlike trains that run on rails, BRTs use buses, making the system simpler as well as cheaper to construct, operate and maintain.
—Ben O. de Vera INQ
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