BRT or Subway? - SunStar

BRT or Subway?

Weekend forum: readers pick between Bus Rapid Transit and Subway System

By Karl Aries Emerson F. Cabilao, UAP


IT was not so long ago when a friend told me that Cebu’s traffic would eventually catch up with that of Manila in terms of being heavy and problematic. Well, the grim scenario had already materialized. What were supposed to be 15- or 20-minute trips have been agonizingly extended to 45-minute to more than an hour travels. The result of a ballooning population and more motor vehicles using age-old roads and streets which have sizes that remained the same for decades already has reared its ugly head on our daily road travels. Couple it with a lack of value for urban planning by government leaders resulting to uncontrolled development and too many public transportation modes (jeepneys, multicabs, tricycles, habal-habal, taxis) competing with privately-owned vehicles in our roads, these explain the transportation disaster we’re having now.

Suggestions have been raised regarding the implementation of a more efficient transportation system. There are those who want the bus rapid transit (BRT) which had done wonders in third world cities in South America. Then there are those who suggest that a subway system would be a great transportation system for everybody just like in most first world nations. Today, these readers tell us which public transportation system they think is ideal for Cebu?

“For me, it’s BRT. It’s way cheaper than a subway project and is more immediate in application. Plus it can provide an efficient means of public transport while affording a system of discipline on the road that we definitely need. It starts with you.” — Paulo Varela, events host / marketing manager (The Monastery)

“The BRT System is the most economical mode of transport in terms of cost and space. Major cities around the world have proven that BRT is affordable, adaptable and cost effective. Ideally, Rail Systems would have been great but are extremely expensive and infrastructure takes forever. The BRT costs much less to build and operate. Essentially it can operate in less than three years, which is perfect for congested cities of developing countries like ours.” — Axel Pierre Acibar, sales officer (Mini)

“In a perfect world, the subway is ideal, of course. But unless we do something about the corruption in our system, the subway is not possible because of maintenance. We haven’t even solved our flooding issues. So the practical answer would be BRT. I’m just being realistic.” — Ella Sanchez-Guanzon, architect

“If money were no object, the subway system gets my vote. Compared to buses, subways can easily transport more people at a faster rate. Plus, it is protected from the weather, is completely separated from traffic, and is more friendly to the environment.” — Anna Christina Cusi, pediatrician

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