Santiago Timelapse

Above is a timelapse compilation of Santiago I put together from my last trip there.

It doesn’t reach the aesthetic quality of one of my favorite parts of (the otherwise rather crass) movie, Que Pena tu Vida, below. But maybe it still gets across a small glimpse of Santiago’s beauty.
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Buses of Santiago

After last week’s rant, now back to your regularly scheduled program.

An urban design and transportation engineering team from Santiago came up for a visit to MIT last week. Next fall, a joint MIT-PUC workshop will be focused on BRT corridor planning in the Boston area and for Transantiago. In anticipation, here are some photos from my visit to Santiago last summer:

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Buses of Ottawa

OC Transpo, the transit provider for Canada’s capital city, has a fleet of just over 1,000 buses.  The agency’s service area was home to just over 800,000 people in 2010, while average weekday boardings reached 384,000.  While the OC Transpo does provide limited diesel multiple unit (DMU) rail service, the majority of its riders use the Transitway bus network.  Inaugurated in 1983, this system of exclusive bus infrastructure speeds transit passengers from outlying suburban areas to downtown, with buses operating at their 56 mph speed limit along most of the route.   The Transitway has undergone continuous expansion, and now it handles 10,500 passengers per direction per hour in the morning peak.  But with buses passing in each direction every 20 seconds downtown, the downtown bus lanes are approaching saturation and will soon be replaced by an underground light rail link.

Pictures from a recent visit are below.  OC Transpo’s Flickr photostream also has an excellent collection of historical photos.

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Buses of Curitiba

Curitiba, Brazil, implemented the world’s first bus rapid transit system in the 1970s. Along with programs to convert floodplains to green space, pedestrianize downtown streets, and improve waste collection, the new “surface metro” transformed the city. Curitiba is the inspiration for many of the other BRT projects I learned about during my year of travel, so a visit there was perfect for my last stop.

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Buses of Maipú

Many of the bus routes in the southwest parts of Greater Santiago have been realigned with the recently opened extension of Metro Line 5.

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Trolleybuses of Valparaíso

Valparaíso’s electric trolleybuses are an iconic part of the city and were even included in the city’s petition for UNESCO World Heritage Site status. A significant portion of the fleet was manufactured by Pullman in the United States in the late 1940s.

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Daladalas of Zanzibar

Unlike on the mainland, the daladalas of Zanzibar are mostly converted Toyota Dyna trucks. Benches run along the side of the bed, so passengers sit facing each other. A roof provides shade, cover from rain, and a place to store goods. Tarps are rolled up on the edges of the roof, ready to be unfurled to close off the otherwise open-air passenger area from rainstorms.

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Bus Art Closeups

The buses in Panama City are covered with captivating spray-painted and vinyl adhesive images, cartoons and photos ranging from mystic wizards to Shakira, lions to Tupac, and Darth Vader to Pinky and the Brain. This article from 2008 details the buses and the concerns about losing valuable public art as they are replaced and helped convinced me to make Panama one of my stops. Though it mentions a renowned artist from El Chorillo, the drivers I talked to also spoke highly of a number of bus artists in the Santa Librada neighborhood. To my eye, the Santa Librada buses were the most well-decorated.

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