Belo Horizonte, Brazil’s third largest metropolitan area, is poised to become Latin America’s next transport success story. With a mayor who has made bus rapid transit (BRT) a top priority, a highly competent technical staff, and strategic support from ITDP, the city’s 5.4 million inhabitants have seen some big improvements in urban transport infrastructure over the past few years, and the pace of these improvements will only pick up in anticipation of the 2014 World Cup. ITDP has been working with the municipality since 2009, when ITDP Board President Enrique Peñalosa visited the city. ITDP assisted the city with bicycle and BRT planning, and organized Mayor Marcio Lacerda’s March 2010 visit to Bogotá, which helped galvanize his plans to implement BRT.
Bus Rapid Transit
BRT Construction of the 16-kilometer (9.9-mile) BRT corridor Antonio Carlos / Pedro I is underway and expected to be completed by May 2013. In the meantime, the city is working on plans for the next corridor, Pedro II / Carlos Luiz. This first phase of BRT consists of a total of 38 kilometers (7.4 miles) of integrated corridors, which incorporate bicycle infrastructure to facilitate intermodal transport. ITDP worked closely with the city on planning and implementation of the BRT system, and upon completion, ITDP will evaluate the system based on our new BRT ratings system.
Cycling currently represents less than one percent of daily trips in Belo Horizonte. To improve this statistic, the city—with support from ITDP—has been working to promote cycling by providing dedicated infrastructure for bicycles. Through the program PedalaBH, the city has implemented 18 kilometers (~11 miles) of new bike paths, and is planning a 380-kilometer (236-mile) bike path network, with a goal of 150 kilometers (93 miles) by the end of 2012.