Cebu City, being in the “middle” of the country and blessed with breath-taking beaches, is poised to rise higher with the modernization of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, and the set-up of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. What are the updates on these major projects? Continue reading to find out…
Mactan-Cebu International Airport
The consortium of Megawide Construction Corp. (Megawide), a Filipino company, and GMR Infrastructure of India (GMR), won the bidding of the project and already paid P14.4 billion cash premium last April 22, 2014.
Just last Friday, May 30, 2014, representatives of thirteen (13) private groups and government agencies signed an agreement with the GMR-Cebu Megawide Airport Corp. committing their support for the expansion of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. Personally, I think that this is a stroke of genius, and maybe done partly to silence the objections of the losing bidders.
I, along with many Cebuanos all over the world, am very excited to see the completed, modernized airport. World-renowned Cebuano designer Kenneth Cobonpue will be designing it, probably incorporating Cebuano heritage in the design.
My Saldua side actually hails from Badian, Cebu (most of them reside in Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur but I have a lot of relatives in Cebu) so news about the new airport excites me a lot. Little bit of trivia: I can actually understand and converse in Cebuano 🙂 [of course, mostly basic words only].
Here is a video walkthrough of the proposed airport design to excite you more:
Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System
Included in the infrastructure projects approved by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) during its meeting chaired by President Aquino last week is the establishment of a BRT system in Cebu City. The project cost is P10.62 billion.
Here is the proposed path of Line 1 of the Cebu BRT amd suggested stations from Wikipedia (the one who uploaded the info seems to have a copy of the BRT study):
Proposed BRT stations
Here is a diagram of the potential Cebu BRT network:
For Line 1, the following are the proposed stations:
- Newtown Estates
- Holy Rosary
- San Jose
- Cebu Institute of Technology
- V Rama
- Cebu City Medical Centre
- Elizabeth Mall
- Downtown (N)
- Doctors Hospital
- Park Lane
For Phase 2, from Ayala, the proposed stations are in Banilac and Talamban. For the advanced phase, the proposed stations are in the South Properties. Potentional future extensions include: Tabunok, Talisay, Downtown (S), SM, Lahug, Bacayan, Mandaue, and the Mactain airport.
What will it look like?
This was my question too, since I have’t really seen a BRT system in action yet.
Basically, there will be a dedicated portion of the road for the buses similar to bike lanes or motorcycle lanes, except that other vehicles are not allowed to encroach on the dedicated area.
Here is an artist’s impression of the BRT along Osmena Boulevard in Cebu:
Timeline, Costs, and Benefits
According to this article from Business World, “the Cebu BRT system will run along a 23-km corridor with 33 stations. A total of 176 buses will run on fixed schedules under the project.” The bidding for the construction of the BRT system is scheduled in the second quarter of 2015. In the meantime, a detailed engineering design is being prepared.
With regard to funding, according to this article from Inquirer.net, the project will be funded by loans from the Agence Française de Développement and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development-World Bank and is projected to be completed by 2017.
It is expected that the BRT system will be able to serve 330,000 people each day. Much time will be saved since the vehicles in the system can travel faster. The emissions of the buses are expected to be “cleaner,” so there will be benefits to the environment as well.
With regard to fares, in the pre-feasibility study, the fares will be the same as jeepney fares – thus, same fare, but faster. I am not aware, though, of what their plans are for the jeepney drivers who may lose their jobs because of this project.
With these upcoming improvements, an increase in property values in Cebu will not be far behind. Interested in foreclosed properties in Cebu? Click on this link.