Government hopeful to implement Metro Manila Bus Rapid Transit in 2018

The proposed implementation of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system would be a “more efficient and reliable” alternative to ease the burden of commuters in the worsening traffic congestion in Metro Manila, an official of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said Friday. Various proposals to ease traffic in the metropolis have been laid down, including Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s suggestion to make use of double-decker buses. But DOTC Spokesperson Michael Arthur Sagcal sees the BRT as a more feasible system especially in high-density urban areas.

The BRT system is expected to speed up travel because it would run through dedicated and exclusive bus ways similar to those in Seoul, South Korea; Guangzhou, China; Bogota, Colombia and other cities.

“Once this project has been implemented, it would definitely help ease commuting in the metro. Hopefully, the BRT would be implemented in 2018,” he said in an interview, as he asked for more patience as fruition of the projects would still take a few years.

Sagcal said the agency is still waiting for the approval of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board to implement the system in Metro Manila. “We are hoping that the NEDA board would approve this within the year. Once approved, it would take between two to three years for the BRT to become operational in the metro,” Sagcal said.

In Manila, DOTC has proposed the BRT to run from Quezon City to Manila City Hall via Quezon Avenue. Sagcal said a modified BRT would also run along EDSA and C-5 Road, two major thoroughfares that experience traffic gridlock especially during rush hours.

The country’s first BRT system is now being put up in Cebu City.