BOGOTA City's former mayor who started Colombia's bus rapid transit (BRT) system will be in Cebu next month to personally explain to local officials and stakeholders the benefits of the BRT.
Former Bogota mayor Enrique Peñalosa will be in Cebu on Nov. 10 and 11 and will present the BRT concept to the mayors, vice mayors and councilors of the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Talisay.
City Planning and Development Coordinator Nigel Paul Villarete said that Peñalosa agreed to visit Cebu on the invitation of Mayor-on-leave Tomas Osmeña.
Bogota's BRT system is one of the most successful and extensive urban transport system in the world.
The Clean Air Initiative or Asian Cities Center, Inc. (CAI-Asia Center) facilitated Peñalosa's side trip to Cebu, on his way to Bangkok, Thailand, where the Better Air Quality 2008 Workshop will be
"We are glad to inform you that the former mayor has agreed to go to Cebu City to help in the City's efforts to promote a more sustainable city through the implementation of a BRT system, as well as other
sustainable urban transport measures," a representative of CAI-Asia Center said in a letter addressed to Osmeña.
The City will shoulder the travel and hotel expenses of Peñalosa's party from Manila to Cebu.
In an interview yesterday, Villarete said they are arranging for Peñalosa to speak in two meetings, one with the local officials and another one for stakeholders,
specifically those who oppose proposals to implement the BRT in the city.
A BRT is a public transport system similar to a light rail transit. But instead of train coaches, buses are used, and a designated lane for buses instead of rail tracks.
The City is planning to use the BRT system in Curitiba, Brazil and Bogota, Colombia as models for the system to be used in Metro Cebu.
"We are fortunate to have him personally explain to the local officials how urban transportation should develop and its environmental and social benefits, and how the system will improve the
qualify of life in urban centers," Villarete said.
The City is waiting for the Department of Transportation and Communications to bid out the feasibility study on the proposed BRT system, which will first be implemented in the Banilad-Talamban
(October 16, 2008 issue)