March 22, 2010

Bus Rapid Transit Comes to Buenos Aires

By Amalia Holub, ITDP

Rendering of Buenos Aires BRT system station. Image: ITDP
Rendering of Buenos Aires BRT system station. Image: ITDP

 

The first BRT line in Buenos Aires will soon be running along Juan B. Justo Avenue. Construction has been completed along 60 percent of the route and operation is expected to begin before the end of the year. The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy led the process of demand analysis, calculation of fleet, and legal proposals for the first corridor and will continue to provide such support and consultation on the second and third BRT lines currently in the planning and design stages. The development of the project has required significant negotiation between the city and federal governments and the private bus operators.

The characteristics of the Buenos Aires BRT system will include articulated, more efficient buses. The station stops, most of which will be enclosed, will have pre-boarding payment integrated into the current fare collection system of the metro and other bus lines. Additionally, an intelligent system of traffic lights and signals will be installed in order to give priority to the BRT buses. As part of the design, pedestrian accessibility is carefully considered as well as an overall improvement of the streetscape environment. The plotting of the routes prioritizes a crossing of the city such that intermodal connection with existing metro and commuter rails is possible. The first and subsequent corridors will be studied closely in order to inform possible improvements to other modes of public transportation with the aim of reducing current levels of conflict.

The shift to BRT from the traditional buses has enormous advantages.

The first corridor along Juan B. Justo Avenue is expected to see nearly a 40 percent decrease in fuel use and a 50 percent reduction in travel time from the beginning to the end of the route at peak hours.

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