BRT seen to make difference in costs, hassles | Inquirer Business

BRT seen to make difference in costs, hassles

Gov’t considers road space to be ‘a scarce resource’

The government considers the bus rapid transit (BRT) system for Metro Manila to be a cheaper alternative to train lines and capable of meeting the country’s mass transport needs.

According to the Department of Transportation and Communications, BRT lines may be put up on Ortigas Avenue and Circumferential Road 5 (C5), two of the most congested roads in the metropolis.

The BRT will be patterned after a transit system being rolled out in Cebu, and a similar plan by the Ayala group for its own BRT line in the Makati central business district.


The Ayala family still owns most of the land, including Ayala Avenue itself, in the country’s premier financial hub.


“We’re looking at a BRT along Ortigas Avenue, crossing Edsa (Epifanio de los Santos Avenue),” Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya said.

“C5 would also be a logical location,” given the road’s ample space, he added.

An inexpensive bus rapid transit line is a viable solution to Metro Manila’s traffic problem, Abaya said.

DOTC consultant Rene Santiago estimated that the traffic mess could cost the economy nearly P500 billion a year—the equivalent of 7 percent of gross domestic product.

A BRT system involves setting aside lanes exclusively for the use of passenger buses that operate on strict schedules and stop only at designated passenger terminals.

“It’s a real democratic solution because you can have a bus with 50 people occupying the same space [as] three cars with a maximum of 15 passengers,” Abaya said.


Road space is a scarce resource, and it is the government’s responsibility to manage this,” he added.

The Cebu BRT is expected to cost $211 million and is slated for completion by 2015.

Under the Cebu, large air-conditioned buses will pick up and drop off passengers on 14 designated stations, and run on designated fast lanes to avoid traffic.

Passengers may safely wait for the buses on elevated platforms set 400 meters apart.

In Makati, the Ayala group wants to spend P1.5 billion for a BRT system that will improve the transportation situation in the business district.

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The BRT will use articulated buses and, like the system in Cebu, run on designated lanes that no other vehicle may use.

TAGS: bus rapid transit (BRT), mass transport, Metro Manila, Philippines - Metro, Road Transport

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