WASHINGTON, March 16, 2017 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved funding for the first bus rapid transit (BRT) system in Metro Manila which will provide safe, reliable, and comfortable rides for about 300,000 commuters daily along España Boulevard and Quezon Avenue.
Like trains, BRTs run on dedicated lanes, carrying passengers in large numbers. Unlike trains that run on rails, however, BRTs deploy buses, making the system simpler and cheaper to construct, operate, and maintain.
The Metro Manila BRT Line 1 Project will cost $109.4 million, of which $64.6 million will come from the World Bank and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF). The Philippine government will provide funding equivalent to $44.8 million.
“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.”
The project will also develop support infrastructure along the España Boulevard-Quezon Avenue route, including bus terminals and stations, segregation barriers, sidewalks, warning and direction signs, and pedestrian crossing facilities, among other facilities. Women make up 55 percent of public transport users in Metro Manila.
“Bus systems like BRT are cost-effective options for reducing emissions of harmful gases that cause climate change,” said Zhihong Zhang, Senior Program Coordinator of the Clean Technology Fund. “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.”
Managed by the World Bank, the Clean Technology Fund provides developing countries and emerging economies with resources to scale up clean technologies that have strong potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Globally, the fund has provided $3.8 billon to support clean technologies such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and transport.
To be implemented by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in coordination with the local governments of Manila and Quezon City, the Manila BRT Line 1 is expected to be operational by 2020.
Pioneered in Curitiba, Brazil in 1974, BRT systems are growing in popularity throughout the world for efficiency and affordability.
From Bogotá to Boston, Cleveland to Curitiba, Hartford to Honolulu, Las Vegas to Los Angeles, Oakland to Ottawa, Pittsburgh to Porto Alegre, and São Paulo to Sydney, Ahmedabad to Jakarta, over 150 cities operate or are developing BRT.