PHL bags USD 64.6-M World Bank funding for 1st BRT project

MANILA-- Washington-based World Bank approved on Friday (Manila time) the funding for the Philippines' first bus rapid transit (BRT) project.

World Bank and Clean Technology Fund (CTF) will be funding USD64.6 million or around Php 3.24 billion for the Metro Manila BRT Line 1 Project.

The BRT project costs USD 109.4 million (Php 5.49 billion). The remaining USD44.8 million (Php 2.25 billion) will be funded by Philippine government.

The country's first BRT system will stretch along EspaAa Boulevard in Manila and Quezon Avenue in Quezon City, providing safe, reliable, and comfortable rides for about 300,000 commuters daily.

"By providing an affordable and convenient public transport option, this project will help make job and education opportunities more accessible, especially for the poor residing around the BRT route," said World Bank Country Director Mara Warwick.

"High-capacity transport systems like BRT help reduce greenhouse gases, boosting the country's contribution to the global fight against climate change," she added.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) will be implementing the project, which is expected to be operational by 2020.

Aside from the BRT line, the project will also involve construction of bus terminals and stations, segregation barriers, sidewalks, warning and direction signs, and pedestrian crossing facilities, among other facilities.

"Bus systems like BRT are cost-effective options for reducing emissions of harmful gases that cause climate change," CTF Senior Program Coordinator Zhihong Zhang said.

CTF is managed by the World Bank. It provides funding to developing countries and emerging economies to scale up technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

CTF has funded USD3.8-billion projects globally supporting clean technologies such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and transport.

"Implementation of this project alone will prevent the release of around 2.6 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents into the atmosphere in the next 20 years. Transport is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions globally and projects like this show the road to a cleaner future," Zhang added.

Over 150 cities in the world are operating and developing BRT system.

Source: Philippines News Agency