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At the end of May, the Mayor of Buenos Aires inaugurated Argentina’s first BRT line (English summary here). Metrobus incorporates lines 34 and 166 (operated by the private companies Juan B. Justo S.A.T.C.I. and Empresa Linea 216, S.A.T., respectively), which run along Juan B. Justo Avenue between Palermo and Liniers. The new corridor consists of dedicated center lanes and raised stops.
During construction, neighbors complained about traffic disruptions and the slow pace of work. The city openly stated that taking away general use lanes along the avenue would add to travel time for private automobiles; transit priority is an important part of the municipal government’s Sustainable Mobility Plan.
According to Clarín:
“We were expecting ridership growth of 20% in the medium term, but in the first weeks we halve already come to record more than 15%,” staff of the Secretary of Transportation said. According to their explanation, this is due mostly to people realizing that they can travel more quickly and safely with the dedicated lanes, because the drivers can no longer pass each other nor do they need to brake abruptly in stops or corners. “And, incidentally, this also benefits auto drivers, who now drive more relaxed separated from buses,” they added. According to their statistics, the growth of passengers has been recorded, above all, in Line 34, where 18% more users are now noted.
Despite the protracted construction process (pictures below), the system seems to be gaining ground as an important tool for sustainable mobility in Buenos Aires.
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