As vehicular traffic gets more congested in the city of Cebu, the local government unit is more determined than ever before to begin implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, which has already been delayed by months.

This is according to BRT Cebu project head Rafael Yap, who has been in charge of briefing the new set of officials of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) regarding the project.

Costing an estimated Php 10.6-billion, the Cebu City BRT project will come in two construction phases; the first is a 16-kilometer bus way, including stations and other facilities along Osmeña Blvd., and the area from Fuente Osmeña Circle to the Cebu Provincial Capitol; the second to be raised at the South Road Properties, particularly commercial roads I and II.

“We hope we will be able to start the bidding of the first two construction packages for the BRT as well as begin the road-right-of-way acquisition within 100 days,” said Yap.

Originally scheduled to be bid out after the May 9 national and local elections, the project has now been delayed for more than two months already due to the need to brief new DOTC officials about the project.“Due to the volume of the work and other projects, and that DOTC is also undergoing transition, understandably, it will take some time,” added Yap.

Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is studying the implementation of the BRT in Metro Manila that may require the conversion of the LRT2 into a BRT system.

Conversion will require the removal of the LRT2’s rails in order to accommodate buses.

The previous administration also studied the implementation of a BRT system that would run from Quirino Highway to Manila City Hall. It was estimated to cost Php 4.79 billion and even received approval from National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) before plans simply fizzled out.