Cebu Reporter's Blog

A reporter's ramblings on the latest news and happenings in Cebu

Monday, August 20, 2007

Will an LRT Save Cebu's Road from Traffic Congestion?

Cebu Congressman Eduardo Gullas has filed House Bill 310 seeking the establishment of the province’s first Light Rail Transit system to keep pace with Cebu's rapid population growth and economic expansion.

It was not clear yet, though, where the LRT will begin and end (although there were talks before that the LRT will travel from Carcar City in the South to Danao City in the North, with various stops).

If this plan pushes through, will the LRT prevent Cebu's traffic woes?

Traffic in Cebu is still not at par with that of Manila. The roads here might be congested at certain hours of the day but compared to Manila, I should say that our roads are still not really congested. The opening of the South Road Properties has also decongested the traffic along Natalio Bacalso Avenue, although commuters will still have to go through the traffic in N. Bacalso because SRP is not for public vehicles.

The North Coastal Road project is also underway and when it is finished, commuters and motorists travelling from Cebu City to Consolacion and Liloan will finally have a diversion route that will free them from the traffic at the North road.

Indeed, an LRT will surely prevent traffic in metropolitan Cebu but I guess it will take years before it will come to reality, although the administration of President Arroyo has approved P60.8 billion worth of fresh infrastructure spending for Cebu up to 2010.

The mass transport system that Gullas envisions for his province would be the country’s ninth and the first outside Metro Manila, which now has eight LRT lines that are either fully operational, under construction or in the drawing boards.

The Department of Transportation and Communication actually has an initial plan for the project. However, project execution has been stalled because the DOTC had difficulty getting from interested investors the lowest possible cost.

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