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Monday, March 13, 2023

Cagayan de Oro's Solution to Traffic Congestion: The Bus Rapid Transit System

Cagayan de Oro, a rapidly developing city in Northern Mindanao, is facing a major traffic problem. To address this issue, the City Council committee on planning, innovation, and development, chaired by Councilor Ian Mark Q. Nacaya, is seeking funds for the proposed establishment and operation of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in the metro.

The BRT is a high-quality, bus-based transit system that offers fast, comfortable, and cost-effective services at a metro-level capacity. The BRT has dedicated lanes, with busways and iconic stations typically aligned to the center of the road, off-board fare collection, and fast and frequent operations. With these features, the BRT is much more reliable, convenient, and faster than regular buses, which can get stuck in traffic and take longer to reach their destination.

The City Council's pursuit of funds for the establishment and operation of a BRT system in Cagayan de Oro is a testament to the city's commitment to sustainable development and efficient transportation systems. With the right funding and support, the BRT system can become a reality, and Cagayan de Oro can lead the way in providing high-quality, sustainable, and innovative transportation solutions.

Unfortunately, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) informed the City Council that the request cannot be accommodated at this time due to a lack of funds. However, the DOTr assured that this will be gladly considered if funds for the project preparation are made available by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) or other funding sources.

The establishment of a BRT system in Cagayan de Oro would be a game-changer for the city's transportation system. With a growing population and economy, the BRT system would provide an efficient and sustainable mode of transportation that can handle the metro-level demand. Moreover, the BRT system would reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and carbon emissions, which are major concerns in the city.

The BRT system is not just a transportation solution, but also an opportunity to showcase the city's innovative and progressive vision for the future. The iconic stations and dedicated lanes would not only serve as functional infrastructure but also as public spaces and landmarks that can enhance the city's identity and urban aesthetics. Furthermore, the BRT system would create jobs and boost local businesses, as it requires maintenance, operation, and management.

The proposed Cagayan de Oro Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System is now in the pre-project preparation stage. This was finally confirmed after the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) released the list of 194 Infrastructure Flagship Projects (IFP) under the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. The Cagayan de Oro BRT System Project will be implemented by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) under the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) Program.

The City Council's pursuit of the BRT system is a proactive response to the city's pressing need for a sustainable and efficient transportation system. With the right funding and support, the BRT system can become a reality, and Cagayan de Oro can establish itself as a leader in sustainable and innovative transportation solutions.

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