A Cebu ferry system from north to south? - Weekend

A Cebu ferry system from north to south?

Jerome NeriAtty. Jerome G. Neri
The Scrutineer

MY car group has a holiday tradition of going to my family’s rest house in Amara, Liloan every weekend before Christmas. We were all shocked when it took us at least two hours to get to Amara this time. To think that Dec. 19 is a Saturday and we left A.S. Fortuna St. in Mandaue City at 2 p.m.

Traffic in Cebu is getting worse at at alarming rate without any viable new infrastructure in the works. Travel time in 2014 and the previous years was only 30 mins. The number of cars in Cebu has been increasing by leaps and bounds. With a Provincial Government that does not seem to care about the lack of road infrastructure in the Province, it is time that we need to look for alternative solutions.

I envy the province of Negros Occidental. When I traveled to Bacolod in 2014, the roads were two lanes, but in 2015, it was already four lanes. To think that they are less populated than us and have fewer cars, their Provincial Government has foresight.

Anyways, on the first weekend of the New Year, I went boating with family and realized that it is much quicker to travel by sea from Liloan to the SRP than driving there through traffic. So, it came to mind that a sea ferry system from North to South may be a good idea, or a sea ferry system from the south to the SRP, from the north to the SRP and from Mactan to the SRP.

FEASIBLE. To decongest traffic in Cebu, a ferry system from north to south seems like a workable solution and would cost less in terms of infrastructure. (SUN.STAR PHOTO/ALLAN TANGCAWAN)
FEASIBLE. To decongest traffic in Cebu, a ferry system from north to south seems like a workable solution and would cost less in terms of infrastructure. (SUN.STAR PHOTO/ALLAN TANGCAWAN)

A suggested route for the north would be a stops in Danao, Liloan (Titay’s area), Tayud (Cansaga Bay Bridge area), Mandaue reclamation, Sugbo in SRP and back. For the Southern route, stops would be in Carcar, Naga, Talisay, Sugbo in SRP, and back. For the Mactan route, stops in Lapu-Lapu City, Cordova, Sugbo in SRP and back.

I really believe this is a workable solution and would cost less infrastructure-wise for the Government. All they will need to do is to construct mini ports in the stop areas. Cebu has a boat building industry and ferry boats can be sourced out locally. I do not mean pump boats, it should be proper comfortable ferries with a catamaran or trimaran design, that will be manned by a competent crew who are certified seamen.

With nice comfortable ferries plying these routes like a bus would, I’m sure that a big number of the riding public would opt for this mode of travel. It definitely would be a safer mode of travel as our government is a lot stricter in implementing safety on sea travel as compared to land travel. I mean not every Tom, Dick and Harry is allowed to operate a ferry as opposed to jeepneys where any Tom. Dick and Harry can obtain a professional driver’s license. Sea worthiness of a ferry is strictly implemented, while a great majority of the jeepneys plying the province is not roadworthy on any proper international standard. Apart from safety, travel time would be quicker as our roads are just too congested, while the sea is not congested at all.

Thus, if one who lives in Danao City wants to go to Oslob, all he will need to do is take a ferry from Danao to SRP, then another ferry from SRP to Carcar, and finally a bus from Carcar to Oslob. This would be more convenient, safer and faster than taking a jeepney to Cebu City then a bus to Oslob.

The only downside I see with this idea is that from time to time the sea gets to be rough, thus, making it uncomfortable for passengers who easily get see sick. But then again that is something one can get used to over time.

I believe a project like this will service more people and decongest our roads as compared to the proposed and soon to be implemented Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT). It will also cost a lot less and cover a greater distance.

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