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Brt Philippines Plan

blog: Achieving high quality development with BRT in The Philippines

Author: Jeh Chan

A blank canvas. This is something very few transport planners ever experience during their career, but this is what ITP was presented with when we were commissioned to develop a high quality Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) concept for Cavite Province in Philippines.

Cavite Province is largely considered part of Mega Manila due to the volume of regular commuting trips that provincial residents take when they go to their workplace in Metro Manila. 

Despite its impressive public transport use, congestion on the highway network is increasing, owing to rapid population growth in the region (doubling its population between 2000 and 2017 to 4.2 million) and a lack of high capacity public transport options. This has severe consequences for air quality and public health.

Brt Thailand Cropped

In light of the mushrooming major new developments in the province, it is unlikely that this level of growth can be continued without improvement to transport provision. The current raft of pipelined highways infrastructure schemes is unlikely to deliver the congestion-busting benefits they promise, and in fact is likely to lead to increasing sprawl. 

Brt Philippines Cropped

The major new developments, however, offer a prime opportunity to incorporate best practice in sustainable urban design and create more liveable cities. 

Transport plays an increasingly important role in this, creating places that are accessible, clean, and green. Therefore, a high capacity sustainable mass transit system is essential to unlock growth and minimise the negative impacts associated with increasing trip demand.

What did we do?

Starting with an initial idea of connecting forthcoming new developments in Cavite province to Metro Manila, we built a case for BRT utilising best practice from the international stage, focussing on the benefits and unlocking potential that BRT can provide for new developments, including:

  • Improving efficiency
  • Improving air quality
  • Improving road safety
  • Mobility for all
  • Reliable journey times
  • Increasing opportunities for walking and cycling
  • Increasing development attractiveness

In considering the potential for BRT, a site visit was undertaken in September 2019 to understand the existing supply for public transport in Cavite Province, and to identify any features of the current road network that could present opportunities or constraints to the development of a high quality BRT system.

Brt Philippines Plan 2

BRT was considered the most appropriate option due to lower costs versus LRT, similar carrying capacity, and its ability to be more quickly implemented. This is particularly pertinent due to the rate developments are coming online in the north of Cavite.

How did this help?

To date, we have presented a concept BRT plan, looking at how a high quality BRT system may help achieve high quality development in Cavite Province. As part of this we identified potential BRT corridors, estimated where future demand for BRT may come from and presented initial concept designs of the BRT lanes, stations, and vehicles. This concept plan will help inform the next stage of BRT development.

To find out more about other BRT schemes that ITP has been involved with, visit our website.


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