June 01, 2003

León, Mexico Advances Bus Rapid Transit Plans

“We are convinced that a city with an efficient transportation system is a more humane and less motorized city,” said Genero Torres Cruz, director of the organization formed to oversee the project.  “This low-cost mass transit system meets our goals of eradicating congestion and the environmental contamination that it generates, in addition to reducing the high indices of accidents which now characterize urban public transport service in many of our Mexican cities.” 

León, with a population of 1.3 million, is the largest city of Guanajuato State and has an existing transit system of 75 routes with 800,000 trips per day. The Bus Rapid Transit project is a coordinated effort financed by the municipal government, the State of Guanajuato and private bus operators. The system will consist of four main transfer stations located at the cardinal points of the city, where passengers will be able to transfer free of charge from feeder routes to main BRT routes and auxiliary city buses. Payment will be accepted with both smart cards and cash.

Under the first phase of the project, three high capacity routes will be constructed, supported by 31 feeder routes between residential areas and the transfer stations. Two transfer stations planned under phase one are now nearly half complete and 26.1 km of busways are under construction. Private operators will purchase 51 articulated buses to serve the trunk routes.

Private investment will also support the construction of 52 bus stops in the median of the busways and bus storage facilities, office space and management of the system. The municipality is currently seeking funding to complete the final construction of phase one.

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