The dream of having a more reliable, faster, and more efficient transportation system in the Philippines may soon become a reality with the approval of two major projects by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Getting the green light for implementation/construction between 2015-2017 and operation in 2018 is the country’s first Bus Rapid Transit or BRT.

A BRT is like a bus, in many ways, that operates in a system that’s somewhat similar to a train. To maximize the efficiency of service, a BRT is typically designed to run on a fully dedicated lane and have designated stops along the center island.

Headed by the Department of Transportation and Communications and using funds from the Official Development Assistance (ODA), the Quezon Avenue-Manila BRT has a total estimated cost of Php 4.79 billion and will stretch for 12.3 kilometers between Quezon Memorial Circle all the way to the Manila City Hall.

The second project to push through is the NLEX-SLEX Road Connector project. This is an eight-kilometer, four-lane toll road connecting the North Luzon Expressway to the South Luzon Expressway, eliminating the need for vehicles to traverse EDSA to make the connection. It is estimated to cost a total of Php 23.2 billion.

“These transport projects form part of the government’s master plan to interconnect areas in the country to make it easier and less costly to move people and goods across the country,” said Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan.