Cebu City Mayor Plans to Redesign BRT Station, Potentially Delaying Project

Cebu City mayor plans to redesign CBRT station near Capitol to preserve heritage, causing potential delays. Transportation secretary confirms project will proceed, but modifications may be needed.

Ayesha Mumtaz
Updated On
New Update
Cebu City Mayor Plans to Redesign BRT Station, Potentially Delaying Project

Cebu City Mayor Plans to Redesign BRT Station, Potentially Delaying Project

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has announced plans to remove and redesign the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) station near the Capitol building in order to preserve the area's heritage. This decision could potentially cause further setbacks to the already delayed CBRT project.

The CBRT project has been hindered by delays and controversies since the start of civil works in March 2023. Mayor Rama stated that the current structure in front of the Capitol does not fit with the area's heritage, and he plans to replace it with a new station designed differently to preserve the heritage value.

This decision comes after a dispute between Rama and Cebu Provincial Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, who had previously ordered a halt to construction work near the Capitol building to protect the heritage site. Rama had even filed a complaint against Garcia for overstepping her authority, but it seems he has now changed his mind and is focusing on preserving the heritage of the area through the redevelopment of the CBRT station.

Despite the potential delays, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista stated that the CBRT project will still move forward. Bautista met with Governor Garcia and Mayor Rama to discuss the implementation of the CBRT. He said the first package may be operational in a couple of months, but acknowledged that modifications may need to be made to the design of the bus station to comply with approvals from NEDA and the World Bank, which is financing the project.

The Cebu City Council has also called for the suspension of Phases 2, 3, and 4 of the CBRT project, opting for a review and rerouting of the project. They unanimously agreed to request Mayor Rama to convene a CBRT Technical Working Group to discuss the option of a City-operated trial run of a CBRT route from Bulacao to Ayala while the three remaining packages are suspended.

Why this matters: The CBRT project is a major transportation infrastructure initiative in Cebu City that aims to improve public transit and reduce traffic congestion. Delays and controversies surrounding the project could have significant impacts on commuters and the city's development plans.

The CBRT project is expected to cater to 60,000 passengers daily in its first year of operation and up to 160,000 passengers once fully operational. Secretary Bautista expressed hope for a win-win solution between the Cebu Ports Authority and the Cebu City government regarding their ongoing rift over some projects, including developments around Compania Maritima which are tied to the city's heritage preservation efforts. The fate of the CBRT project remains uncertain as local officials navigate the complex issues of infrastructure development and heritage conservation.

Key Takeaways

  • Cebu City Mayor plans to redesign CBRT station near Capitol to preserve heritage
  • CBRT project delayed by disputes between Mayor Rama and Gov. Garcia over heritage
  • Transport Sec. Bautista says CBRT will proceed, modifications may be needed
  • Cebu City Council calls for suspension of CBRT Phases 2-4 for review and rerouting
  • CBRT project aims to improve public transit, but faces uncertainties over heritage issues