The Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) will be operational by the end of 2021 despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Asst. Secretary Anthony Gerard ‘Jonji’ Gonzales of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) said the Department of Transportation pushed through with the CBRT bidding amid the community quarantines.

Gonzales said DOTr’s target was to start operations by December 2021 and reach full operations by the first quarter of 2023. “The next big step for Cebu BRT is land acquisition and bidding,” he said.

The bidding for Package 1 of the project was completed in December. It covers four bus stations on the 2.38 l-kilometer route from the Cebu South Bus Terminal (CSBT) to the Capitol area on Osmeña Boulevard in Cebu City.

Gonzales said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was working on widening the national road while the local government units were assigned to fix local roads.

Packages two and three, which will cover 10.8 kilometers, include establishing trunk service from the South Road Properties to CSBT via Natalio Bacalso Avenue and from Capitol to IT Park.

When finished, CBRT will have a fleet of 250 buses, with at least 21 stations, and will serve some 60,000 passengers a day.

The CBRT project is a component of the planned Metro Cebu Integrated Intermodal Transportation System or (MCIITS), which will soon include a monorail system and a cable car system. “It will answer the problem of traffic congestion in Metro Cebu,” Gonzales said. Ryan Sorote