The City government eyes to install 115 bus stops for two routes as the first phase of the implementation of the Davao Interim Bus System (DIBS) to address the call of residents for an efficient public transport system.
Assistant City Administrator lawyer Tristan Dwight Domingo, in yesterday’s I-speak Media Forum at the City Hall, said they will pilot the DIBS to Catalunan Grande and Diversion Road routes.
“There will be 115 bus stops for the two routes. These are just simple bus stops that will be put up (for the) Catalunan Grande to (downtown route) and the entire stretch of the Diversion Road,” Domingo said adding that they expecting the completion of the bus stops before the year ends.
Domingo said 25 buses will replace the 69 jeepney units currently playing in Bareangay Catalunan Grande and 10 buses will be deployed in the Diversion Road, a new route.
The city has allocated P100 million for the first phase of the implementation of the project that will be taken from the Supplemental Budget 1 approved by the City Council last August.
Out of the P100 million budget, Domingo said P50 million will be allotted for the civil works, P20 million for the financial assistance of those that will be affected by the project, and P30 million for other activities that will complement the projects such as traffic lights.
Domingo said they chose the two routes because these are those that could not add much to the existing traffic congestion in the city.
Domingo said Catalunan Grande only has 69 jeepney units operating in the area unlike other areas like Toril that has 400 units of jeepneys.
“If we put these (buses) on the road, these will cause traffic if the existing jeepneys plying these roads are still there,” said Domingo.
Meanwhile, he added that according to a group of jeepney drivers and operators, they are receptive to the initiative of receiving cash assistance as compensation.
“If we put these buses in place, we also have to do something with the jeepneys. We talked to the drivers and operators in Catalunan Grande area and they are receptive to the idea,” said Domingo.
The amount of compensation for drivers and operators who will be affected are still being finalized, according to Domingo.
Other than cash assistance, the drivers will also receive assistance from other government agencies like Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and others for livelihood support.
“We will prioritize the cash assistance but we will also pull assistance from other government agencies,” Domingo said.
Meanwhile, Domingo called all the Davaoenos to be patient as the city government is on its move to address the issue of public transportation in the city.
“We are fully aware that same problems are being experienced by almost all areas outside the Central Business District. We receive the complaints addressed mostly in social media but we have to understand that there are processes that we have undergo before we can implement projects,” said Domingo. (With Brendan Luspo/Intern)
By Julianne A. Suarez
and Brendan Luspo