Dads optimistic HPBS will be implemented

Davao City Councilors expressed optimism that despite delays, the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) will be implemented.

Councilor Conrado C. Baluran, chairperson of Committee on Transportation and Communications, said on Tuesday that signages are already in place along the roads that are going to be developed for the HPBS.

“We already identified those loading areas and unloading areas. Pero there are many problems created,” Baluran said during the Aprubado sa Konseho media briefing on Tuesday.

Councilor Edgar P. Ibuyan Jr., chairperson of Committee on Public Works and Highways, cited challenges in the acquisition of properties to be used for the components of HPBS as among the factors that cause the delay for the implementation of the project.

“The first problem that we encountered was the acquisition of the properties for the six sites. The property owners, katong property that was identified, the owners refuse to sell the property. Dinha gyud nadugay,” he said.

HPBS is one of the flagship projects of the Build, Build, Build program, which is being implemented by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the city government of Davao.

The Davao HPBS is a proposed bus-based public transport system for the city, consisting of a core bus network of over 100km, and a feeder network of over 500km.

HPBS would replace the existing jeepney network with a four-tier (MetroDavao, DavaoInter, DavaoFeeder and DavaoLocal), 29 route network operating with larger buses (including 18m articulated and 12m bus units), which significantly reduce the number of public transport vehicles on the roadways (reducing PUVs). Small 10m buses will also be introduced.

HPBS also includes the development of public transport terminals, depots, a driving school as key supporting facilities of the modern service; 1,119 bus stops; and more than 1,000 new bus fleets.

“In terms of 1,119 bus stops wala na problema kay along the highway lang man to sila put up ug shed lang,” Ibuyan said.

Ibuyan is hopeful that despite the delay, implementation of HPBS will soon commence.

A signal priority, bus lanes, pedestrian enhancements and street improvements will also be part of system improvements.

“We’ve been delayed for so many years. But we are optimistic,” Ibuyan said.

The components of the project includes public transport system improvement, institutional strengthening, and social development program.

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