Comments on Cebu City BRT (Bus Rapid Transit)

About a week ago, I posted about a news, featuring Cebu City Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that is on the way to materialization, at least in the phase of pooling consultants for the detailed engineering plans, structural, architectural and other related tasks. As that specific post continued to gather page views after publication, I finally got a set of comments that I thought, the Cebu City BRT Facebook admin should know and eventually, respond to the questions thrown therein.
I took the initiative of posting the comments of a certain reader named "Rico Villemore", for the reasons that my blog is for public consumption in the first place and that, the comments generated by the articles in it are all bound to be published for public viewing. Here goes the thought provoking questions / points of Mr. Villemore:
I agree something needs to be done about public transport. So dont take the following comments the wrong way please...

but
1. There seems a lack of public consultation. The first many knew was a bus proposal but what was flagged prior? to look at options. Many didnt know about the proposal that I spoke with.

2. Theres been nothing of the financials eg. proposed fares? why would someone want to pay 8p for a jeep and double that to say 15? or 25p a journey? and who will pay this?

3. I dont like buses. I've ridden enough buses in other cities. I ride Ceres buses here. Have other options been considered eg. that can fit into the existing road network instead of creating dedicated lanes eg. a tram system like in San Fransisco or Melbourne take a look at this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hpk1f0iwRRc
I checked out this and i think this would appeal better and less congestion as Ive been to Melbourne and the traffic and trams integrate well. Its a tourist draw card to ride trams, to have a restaurant tram trip around town, free tourist trams etc!! its much cleaner on the air than eg. diesel buses and quite economical to construct something that is different than stinky diesel buses or whatever gas will be running the buses.

It just seems the mad rush is on to get more stinky, fossil fuel burning machines on the rapid transport system.

Ok, I also was in Brisbane Australia in my travels and the dedicated bus lanes worked well but from a tourist point of view Melbourne was a real draw card as is San Fransisco for trams.

PS. Im not doubting Cebus traffic and strategies need to be implemented im just perhaps throwing something different into the ring before a final decision is made.
Upon approving the above-quoted comments in my article, I went to Cebu City BRT's Facebook page and posted the same. Then I got the following replies:

As per clarification:

The BRT proposals have been consulted upon extensively over teh past 4 years. In teh last six months the tecnical development team have met over 2000 people face-to-face. Many more have been met through exhibitions in SM, Ayala and City Hall. Repeated dsicussion have been held with the Barangays fronting teh BRT route. In addition there has been many press, TV and radio articles giving details.
The BRT fare would be similar to that of Jeepneys. The fuel is most likely to be diesel but it woudkl be Euro IV compliant - that is ultra low sulphur diesel - an extremely clean fossil fuel. The buses woudl be air conditioned and comfortable. At present a higher specification is being is developed than that which is used on the Brisbane busway where passengers repeatedly give high praise to the busway.
Tram systems certainly have benefits in some situations. They are however extremely expensive and have a high impact upon their environment - see Taft Avenue in Manila as an example. TransCebu has been designed to meet the needs of the people of Cebu and to fit in with the city's heritage and natural charms. We hope that you will be pleasantly surprised when you see the result.
I hope Mr. Villemore's questions were answered accordingly. It is always a healthy option to cater questions, opinions or ideas when it comes to public projects and related developments. It's of course one of the components of participatory approach in planning and decision making. This way, things can be seen from a wider perspective.

Note: Some typos maybe found in the comments quoted above
Cebu City BRT: http://www.facebook.com/CebuCityBRT
Image: http://events.herbertkikoy.info

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