Cebu City gets grant for smart transport plan

Published April 16, 2021, 6:00 AM

by Chino S. Leyco

The government’s plan to provide smart mobility and traffic management solutions in Cebu City has received a grant from the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

The Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Transportation (DOTr), and USTDA signed on Wednesday, April 15, a $668,000 technical assistance grant to develop a masterplan that will improve mobility and reduce traffic congestion in Cebu City.

Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA acting director said the development a comprehensive plan is expected to be completed by December 31, 2021, which should include an intelligent transportation system for Cebu City, the country’s second largest metropolitan area.

 “Through this partnership with DOTr, we are supporting the adoption of state-of-the-art traffic control technologies that will improve mobility and reduce emissions on Metro Cebu’s roadways,” Ebong said.

USTDA said the grant will assist DOTr in evaluating smart mobility solutions for Cebu City’s 13 local government units.

The project is also expected to play a critical role in enhancing system-wide transportation infrastructure improvements in the southern city, including a new bus rapid transit system that is currently under development.

Following the signing, Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said the people of Cebu City are finally getting closer to realizing their dream of “having an intelligent transport system means having a seamless movement of people and services.

 “That’s why our initiative involves the harmonization of several projects in Metro Cebu, including a Bus Rapid Transit, express service going to the airport and eventually integrating it to rail line projects,” Tugade said.

“We have been pursuing the implementation of this Integrated Transportation System so that Cebuanos will be able to experience a comfortable and convenient life through enhanced connectivity and mobility in and around the city,” he added.

Meanwhile, the USTDA also announced it will open its office in the US Embassy in Manila later this year.

Ebong said the establishment of the USTDA office in the country reaffirms the agency’s commitment to redouble its efforts in the Philippines and across Southeast Asia.

“This new USTDA office will help us meet the growing demand for our program in (the) Philippines,” Ebong said.

“It will also facilitate the financing and implementation of our infrastructure projects through closer engagement with the Asian Development Bank and other regional financial institutions,” she added.