transport | planning | urbanism | adventures
Bogotá’s bus rapid transit system has been touted as an example worldwide. Heavily promoted by the city’s former mayor, Enrique Peñalosa, it has been used as a model for systems I have explored in Guatemala City, Panama City, Dar es Salaam, Cape Town, and Johannesburg, among other places. And along with the rhetoric about BRT being a tool for building public space in cities comes an array of Colombian consulting firms and private bus operating companies. It was a fascinating experience for me finally to be at the source of the BRT craze last January, especially after my year studying BRT around the world.
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In January, I spent 24 hours in Medellín, Colombia, before an urban design workshop being held in Bogotá. While it wasn’t nearly enough time in the city, I was excited to explore some of the internationally-renowned public spaces and the new bus and metrocable transit lines.
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Six years after its opening, the Metro Orange Line in Los Angeles remains one of the few true BRT corridors in the United States. Right of way is almost entirely an exclusive busway, and buses receive well-enforced signal priority against cross traffic.
The 14 stations along the 14 mile route currently see approximately 24,000 weekday boardings. A second branch, from Canoga Station in the west north to Chatsworth, will be opening in June 2012. Though only one service currently operates along the route (serving all stops between Warner Center and North Hollywood), the extension will lead Metro to consider other services, such as north-south between Chatsworth and Warner Center. A limited-stop service to the North Hollywood Red Line station might also make sense, given that there are passing lanes at stations and peak headways, currently at 4 minutes, will be high enough to support such service after the extension opens. Though given Metro’s propensity for simplifying service patterns, like the elimination of Metro Rapid Express 920, this seems unlikely. Pictures from a January ride are included below, as is a Measure R construction update on the extension.
Former Mayor of Curitiba and Governor of Paraná Jaime Lerner gave the keynote address at Transforming Transportation 2012. He highlighted the use of “urban acupuncture” and “focal interventions,” used in conjunction with the planning process, to catalyze urban improvements. He also cautioned against unsuccessful and disorganized implementations of bus rapid transit, especially those that do not integrate well with the “concept of a city.” Highlights of his dynamic and comedic speech, and the complete set of slides he used, are both embedded below.
Last week, transit leaders from around the world converged on Washington, D.C. for Transforming Transportation 2012. The two-day event, hosted by EMBARQ, The World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Institute for Transportation Development and Policy, Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities, and the Partnership for Sustainable Low Carbon Transport, included a number of speakers suggesting ways to scale-up sustainable transportation systems.
|“City is not a problem, City is a solution” – Manish Bapna, the Acting President of the World Resources Institute, and Jaime Lerner discuss scaling up urban transportation innovations|
|Jaime Lerner, the mayor of Curitiba who successfully “metronized the bus,” sitting in front of this graph showing the explosive growth of bus rapid transit systems worldwide|
|Jaime Lerner describes his “urban acupuncture” approach. A video with highlights from his keynote address is available here.|
|Juan Carlos Muñoz, Professor at the Catholic University of Chile and the Director of the ALC-BRT Center of Excellence|
|Lake Sagaris, Head of Communications, Innovation and Development for Ciudad Viva and a member of the ALC-BRT Advisory Board|
|Federico von Buchwald, President of the Metrovía Foundation and Vice-President of SIBRT, presents on Guayaquil’s BRT system (available below in the full post).|