Monday, January 19, 2009

Bus Rapid Transit...Latin American Style

Right before I started at Transportation Choices, I had the great opportunity to travel through Ecuador for over five weeks. I spent most of the time on rural beaches, but I also had a chance to visit Ecuador’s two largest cities, Quito and Guayaquil. Quito and Guayaquil are both megacities with excellent Bus Rapid Transit systems. Their BRT systems were fast, functional, and popular for a few reasons.

· The buses on the BRT line have less than 5 minute headways so you never have to wait.
· The buses have their own dedicated right of way right down the middle of the road for 98% of the routes, making them often faster than taxis and cars stuck in the traffic.
· Their station infrastructure is highly developed, comfortable, and feels like a rail station.
· Similar to a rail station you pay when you enter the station so boarding the articulated buses is fast and convenient.

Enjoy the few shots I got of the BRT systems below. For a country with much less infrastructure dollars than the States, it is amazing how many people their high capacity transit infrastructure moved efficiently and what we can learn.

A busy BRT ride:

Rail-like stations:

Easy to use fixed route maps:

1 comment:

  1. please note that the Quito system is electric trollleybus and therefore contributes much less global warming gases.

    the key is getting priority through traffic for transit to whatever degree the political world will allow and for whatever mode can be afforded, given each system's limited fiscal capacity and rights of way.