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PHL, World Bank ink $141-M loan deal for Cebu BRT project

The Philippines sealed a $141-million loan deal from the World Bank to finance the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and provide efficient and cheaper way of commuting around the Queen City of the South.
In an e-mailed statement Friday, the Department of Finance (DOF) said the World Bank will provide funding of $116 million from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and $25 million from its Clean Technology Fund (CTF).
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima signed the loan agreement with World Bank last October 14, the department said.
“Our improved public finances have enabled us to spend more confidently on public investments supporting our rapid growth. As Cebu City is fast becoming one of our prime urban centers, investing in sound infrastructure lays solid groundwork for a more sustainable growth trajectory," Purisima said.
The Cebu BRT project aims to improve the overall performance of the urban passenger transport system in Cebu City.
It includes the development of segregated BRT bus-ways from Bulacao to Ayala, with a link to Cebu’s south road property, a feeder service between Ayala and Talamban with signal priority, 33 stations expected to service 330,000 people per day in 2015, 176 buses, an area stop light control for the whole city of Cebu, and a central transport control room.
The Department of Transportation and Communications will be the implementing agency for the Cebu BRT, which will be operational starting 2018.
Once complete, the project will service an average of 433,000 individual trips per day and allow commuters to save 25 minutes of travel time and P7.50 in fares.
The Philippine government and the World Bank chose to undertake the development of a BRT system because it is a cheaper alternative to rail system, a quicker project to construct and it has higher quality of service despite having the same capacity as rail.
Cebu City was also a prime location for the BRT system, as it is governed by a single local government unit supportive of the project and has high Public Utility Jeep (PUJ) dominance with no significant bus presence. — RSJ, GMA News