Cebu mass transport system should serve tourism points

CEBU CITY – Whether a light rail transit (LRT) or a bus rapid transport (BRT) system will be implemented in Cebu, the mass transport system should consider servicing tourism points in the province.
Airport, sea ports, and terminals must be served by such a transport system so tourists will have easy and secure access to metropolitan Cebu, said Dr. Robert Lim Joseph, Founding Chairman of TourismEducators and Movers (Team) Philippines, during the weekly 888 News Forum at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel.
“The mass transport system must pass by the airport where the bulk of tourists come in, to give them clean, quick, and secure access to Cebu,” said Joseph, who stressed that tourism stakeholders here prefer the BRT due to its flexibility in changing routes and its cheaper cost to Government.
But whatever it is that authorities will finally approve as a mass transport system for Cebu, Joseph said tourism stakeholders here believed the new transport system is a sure tourist drawer due to their impression that going around the City will be easier and more safe.
Local officials in Cebu are clashing on the type of mass transport system to be installed for Cebu, withCebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña insisting that the BRT is the best system for the City.
Osmeña is criticizing proponents of the LRT, saying the project – which he argues is priced by proponents substantially bigger than the cost of a BRT system “smells fishy” particularly since the election season is now fast approaching .
Meanwhile, Cebu City Planning Officer Nigel Paul Villarete allayed fears of jeepney operators and drivers that the BRT will eventually phase out public utility jeepneys (PUJs) saying the new system will even improve their services.
“With the BRT, PUJ operators will be forced to improve their services and upgrade their vehicles to compete,” said Villarete.
He said the PUJ has long been a transport symbol of the country and will never be eradicated and the BRT will only give operators a reason to finally upgrade their vehicles.
The Cebu City Council has already given its support to the BRT as the city’s mass transport system.
The City Mayor earlier said he believes that some politicians are working hard for the immediate approval of the project so they could have more campaign funds in the next year’s elections.
Osmeña, who had stopped attending the meetings of the Regional Development Council (RDC) chaired by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, said he will attend the next RDC meeting on December 17 to formally explain to Council members his arguments why he is strongly against the LRT-MRT project.
(Manila Bulletin)

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