In March 2009, President Felipe Calderon attended the inauguration of Guadalajara’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) line. Called Macrobus, phase one consists of 16 kilometers of segregated busway, 27 stations, and two terminals. It integrates with the light rail system.
Running along Calzada Indepencia, on the main avenues of the city, 41 articulated Volvo buses provide both local and express service. CEMDA, an non-governmental organization in Mexico, helped push for the buses to use ultra low sulfur diesel. 350 of the old buses were scrapped.
All stations have passing lanes that allows the express service to only stop at seven stations, greatly reducing travel time for passengers. While many systems only use concrete at the stations because asphalt disintegrates and buckles too quickly, Macrobus’ entire length is paved with concrete.
The system was expected to serve 130,000 passengers a day. Macrobus has an electronic fare collection system, as well as pre-paid and at-level boarding, which shortens the time the buses spend at stations and the overall travel time of passengers. Logit Consultoria, which has worked on many BRT systems around the world, did the detailed design and operational planning.
The entire system is expected to be built by 2012 and is expected to reduce 330,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the next three years (the equivalent of taking 55,000 cars off the road), as estimated by CTS-Mexico. CTS-Mexico and EMBARQ – the WRI Center for Sustainable Transportation provided financial and technical support to this project.