Modernizing Public Transportation

The World Resource Institute and the associated organisation EMBARQ have summarized the learning’s from major bus projects in Latin America and Asia in a recent report titled “Modernizing Public Transports”

Read more about the report here


The report mainly focus on high capacity bus routs with 1 780 to 43 000 passengers per direction and hour. Thirteen cities have contributed to the report (Curitiba, Quito, Boogota, São Paolo, León, Jakarta, Mexico City, Beijing, Pereira, Guayaquil, Santiago, Guadalajara, and Ahmedabad.

There are both more and less successful examples. A very good summary is given in the “lessons learned” section. The general conclusion is that most of the projects have been successful by improving the travel conditions for the users and raised the quality and performance of the public transports.

The recommendations in brief are divided in:

Planning Phase: Use a team that address combined, transports, financial, legal, institutional and environmental concerns.

Decision-Making Process: Secure approval from high level decision makers early in the process.

Design Phase: Chose the adequate geographical area and be careful to consistently apply all the required elements of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

Implementation Phase: Implement user education programmes and involve the community in participation and engagement programmes.

Operational Phase: Match the service level frequency, feeder lines, etc. to the demand, that may change a lot (mostly rapid growth) during the initial operation.

Structural Issues: Develop a clear vision and stay consistent in the implementation. Secure financing to fully develop the new bus system.

I conclude that the more consistent you are, the more successful the bus transports will become. To pick and implement some elements of BRT will only exceptionally bring progress.

About volvobuses

Adjunct Professor of Catalysis at Chalmers University of Technology. Lives in Gothenburg, Sweden, with my wife and three daughters born in 1991, 1994 and 1997. Is a passionate runner.
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