Davao City prefers bus rapid transport system over MRT

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/24 September)—The city government is eyeing the development of a bus rapid transport system as an affordable alternative to the mass rail transit system, although the latter is identified as among the priority areas given incentives under the 2010 Investment Priorities Plan.

Jason Magnaye, the chair of the Davao City Investment Promotion Center said on Friday that the city government has been eyeing the development of a bus rapid transport system for possible investment by the private sector.

“One of the specific modes of transport that the city government of Davao is considering for private sector investments is the BRT (bus rapid transit). It provides a faster and an affordable alternative to the light rail transport system that we have been hearing for several years now,” he said.

Magnaye was speaking in a forum where the Board of Investments (BOI) officials laid down the list of priority industries given tax incentives by the government under the 2010 Investment Priorities Plan.

Mass rail transport for passengers and cargoes has been identified in the regular list of investment priorities to be given incentives by BOI.

Since the proposed Mindanao Railway System failed to take off, Magnaye said the bus rapid transit system might be a more viable alternative.

“The idea is to field buses that approach the service quality of the LRT while enjoying the savings and the affordable rate of the bus system,” he said.

Magnaye, however, cautioned that such a project will need an upgrading of existing infrastructures, vehicles and a more organized scheduling of bus lines.

Services of BRTs around the world are much better than ordinary bus lines. (Germelina Lacorte/Mindanews)

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