Hybrid electric buses eyed for BRT lanes on Edsa, Quezon Ave.

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The government has allocated P10.2 billion of its P3.767-trillion budget for 2018 to develop the country’s first-ever Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects in Metro Manila and Cebu, a lawmaker said on Sunday, Aug. 20.

The DOST has developed a Hybrid Electric Road Train which the government can deploy for its BRT projects
The DOST has developed a Hybrid Electric Road Train which the government can deploy for its BRT projects

“The BRT Line 2 along Edsa is getting P3.09 billion, while Line 1 along Quezon Avenue-Espa?a Boulevard is getting another P1.76 billion,” said Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr.

The Cebu BRT project also has a P5.37-billion allotment, Campos said.

Campos is counting on the Department of Transportation and the Department of Energy to harness new environment-friendly, low-emission buses for the BRT operations.

“Our cities deserve a breath of fresh air, so we definitely do not want the usual 100-percent diesel buses running through our BRT lines,” Campos, author of the proposed Electric, Hybrid and Alternative Fuel Vehicles Incentives Act, said.

“Hybrid buses with battery-powered electric motors and smaller diesel engines, or possibly even buses running on cleaner fuel such as compressed natural gas, should be deployed preferably,” Campos said.

Campos also expects every BRT bus to be run by the private sector to have free high-speed Internet connectivity, digital security cameras, and a public-address system.

The BRT operations are expected to deploy buses that have greater capacity and reliability to efficiently move commuters compared to conventional buses.

The scheme will involve buses running one after the other at a designated average speed using segregated lanes and going through dedicated stations, with a bus arriving at each station every five minutes.

The system design will also include facilities enabling passengers to conveniently get on and off buses and purchase fares with ease.

Once completed, BRT Line 2 is anticipated to move 1.6 million to two million commuters daily, while Line 1 is estimated to serve 300,000 passengers daily. The Cebu BRT is projected to accommodate 330,000 riders daily.

BRT operations now form part of the public transport systems of more than 200 metropolitan districts around the world, according to Campos.

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