Arup hired to probe a modern bus system for congested Manila

Heavy traffic on Roxas Boulevard in Manila (patrickroque01/CC BY-SA 4.0)
Arup has been appointed by the World Bank to develop a plan for a pilot interim bus service in Metro Manila with a view to developing a city-wide Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in one of the most traffic-congested cities in the world.

With some 9.3 million daily trips on public transport, its major corridors are often overloaded with old and poorly maintained vehicles, leading to pollution and an unreliable and uncomfortable commute.

Aggravating the lack of high-quality, high-capacity public transport, the Covid-19 pandemic depleted ridership and revenue, with service reduction and social distancing measures causing major inconveniences to commuters.

To study the feasibility of the pilot, Arup will conduct surveys and analyse video and data to devise local plans and build public support for good bus services. It will also create a new business model for bus operations and propose an institutional framework to facilitate integrated public transport.

“Ultimately, we aim to pave the way for more extensive BRT corridors in the Metro Manila area, mirroring the success of similar systems around the region and world,” the company said.

Arup’s associate director in transport consulting, Corey Wong, said: “We are excited to be laying the groundwork for wider Bus Rapid Transit deployment in Manila, with an enhanced road-based network to complement the rail system. This study builds on our growing urban transport portfolio in Southeast Asia and sets a foundation for wider implementation of green transport across the region to improve the commuter experience.”

Image: Heavy traffic on Roxas Boulevard in Manila (patrickroque01/CC BY-SA 4.0)

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