By Jose Santino Bunachita
CEBU CITY (February 27, 2023) — “Dream come true.”
These were the words of Mayor Mike Rama as he, together with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. and other government officials, broke ground for the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project earlier today.
During the occasion, Mayor Rama acknowledged former mayor Tomas Osmeña’s contributions in conceptualizing and pushing for the Cebu City BRT project, which he said started back in the 90s.
“Precisely, I’ve always mentioned Mayor Tomas Osmeña. We were together in having this gargantuan project,” he said.
The P16.3-billion Cebu BRT project involves a total of 13.18 kilometers of trunk service from the South Road Properties (SRP) to Barangay Mambaling, all the way to the Cebu IT Park.
Today’s groundbreaking, which is for Package 1 of the project, includes a 2.38-kilometer trunk service from the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) all the way to the Cebu Provincial Capitol.
It will also include the construction of four BRT stations located by the CSBT, Cebu Normal University, Fuente Osmeña, and Capitol.
Precisely, I’ve always mentioned Mayor Tomas Osmeña. We were together in having this gargantuan project.Mayor Mike Rama in honoring the former mayor’s role in the BRT project
According to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), partial operability of the Cebu BRT project is targeted by early 2024 and full operability by 2025.
The Cebu BRT is the first mass transport project in Cebu City and the first BRT system in the Philippines.
In his speech, President Marcos instructed the DOTr to finish the project within its target completion timeline.
“I think that if we can in fact start operations in December, that will be the best possible Christmas gift that we can give to Cebu,” he said.
The President also reminded the DOTr to ensure that just compensation is given to owners of properties that will be affected by the project; and to find ways to properly relocate affected informal settler families.
“We must commend the Department of Transportation for initiating the first bus rapid transit (BRT) project in the Philippines. As usual, nauna na naman ang Cebu – Cebu once again leads the way,” President Marcos said.
The DOTr projects the Cebu BRT system to cater to more than 60,000 passengers daily in its first year of operation.
DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said the project will raise the level of service, safety, and environment efficiency of transportation in this part of the country.
“We are confident that the Cebu BRT will significantly enhance the commuting experience of Cebuanos and begin the transformation of Cebu’s transport landscape,” he said.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and House Speaker Martin Romualdez also joined Mayor Rama, President Marcos, and Secretary Bautista in the groundbreaking ceremony and lowering of the time capsule held by the Fuente Osmeña Circle this morning. #