LRT, BRT a go

CEBU, Philippines —  The highly controversial light rail transit (LRT) system and bus rapid transit (BRT) system will be implemented in Cebu under the Integrated Inter-Modal Transport System (IITS).

This was disclosed by Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino during a unity and solidarity dialogue with newly elected officials of Cebu City and province at the Grand Convention Center yesterday.

“To be honest with you, kaning LRT nato ba… now I can mention, actually, naa nay grupo nga gihatagan sa project sa LRT. It will really happen. This is not just talks. In fact, there’s a company that was given original proponent status of DOTr (Department of Transportation),” Dino said.

He said documents have been submitted to the National Economic Development Authority and, from there, the papers will go back to DOTr for a Swiss challenge.

The IITS include the Point-to-point (P2P) bus system, Monorail in Lapu-Lapu City, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on three-lane roads, LRT from Carcar to Danao and Mandaue to the Mactan airport, and an Intelligent Transportation System.

Returning governor Gwendolyn Garcia support the IITS.

“An Integrated Inter-Modal Transport System is, I believe, the most expansive and holistic solution to this traffic problem we are now experiencing. Such system should take into consideration the other LGUs beyond Cebu City,” Garcia said.

She believes that the local government units in Cebu need the national government to be able to address the issue of traffic here through the Mega Cebu concept, which will involve 44 towns and seven cities of the province, and the cities of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu.

Newly elected officials in the province reportedly agree that Cebu needs the IITS whose backbone is the LRT.

Mayor-elect Edgardo Labella, meanwhile, said he and his allies in the City Council have been apprised of the IITS.

“Part of this integrated system, according to Transportation Secretary (Arthur) Tugade, dunay phase one. Part of the first phase is an LRT that would traverse from the central City of Cebu direct to the Mactan Cebu International Airport,” he said.

Considering that his decisions as mayor would need an approval from the City Council, Labella said he would need the body’s support to address the worsening traffic situation.

Majority of the councilors in the new Council, however, are not his political allies.

Duterte endorsed Labella in the May polls and, during the campaign, said he will give the LRT to Cebu if Labella wins as mayor. –  JMO (FREEMAN)


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