With the first match of the World Cup just weeks away, Brazilian cities are putting the final pieces of their transportation plans into motion. Belo Hortizonte, which opened its first BRT, MOVE, in early March, last week debuted its second corridor, MOVE Antônio Carlos. The new corridor will provide critical transit for the city during the World Cup and long after. The route connects Belo Horizonte’s city center with the Pampulha region, providing connections to several hospitals, the Federal University of Minas Gerais, and the newly modernized Mineirão football stadium.
MOVE Antônio Carlos is a high-quality BRT corridor. It runs along a central, dedicated lane, features bike lanes for much of the way, and has strong pedestrian safety measures (e.g. ample crosswalks). The system is well integrated with other transit in Belo Horizonte, with a shared BHBUS card and integrated stations where feeder buses can bring riders to the BRT corridor.
ITDP has brought its international expertise to support Belo Horizonte’s BRT throughout the process, including sharing best practice designs, advising on corridor design, advocating for the system, evaluating plans and providing guidance for high-quality design.
“We will continue to help the city improve the project and make adjustments as needed”, says Clarisse Linke, Director of ITDP Brazil. “Through good design and system management, the new corridor will bring many benefits to the riders and city residents, including time savings, reducing congestion and emissions, and promoting mixed use development downtown for a more livable city”.
During the launch, official ‘Can I Help?’ crews stood at stations, answering questions for first time BRT users and confused travelers. In the lead up to the new corridor, there were many meetings with local communities and pamphlets were distributed with details on the lines, terminals, and logistics of the system.
The corridor is already moving 40,000 people daily. Three different lines run along the BRT corridor. Line 50 runs directly between the two terminals, offering the greatest time savings- during peak travel times, buses leave every 4 minutes, minimizing wait times. Lines 51 and 52 will stop at all stations along the corridor, offering convenient access to all points throughout the route. Seven feeder routes will extend the reach of the system, bringing users on traditional buses to transfer stations, where they can access the benefits of BRT with ease. Overall, the BRT is expected to reduce travel times by an average of 40% for users.
When the wave of World Cup visitors hits Belo Horizonte in several weeks, the BRT will play a key role in keeping the city moving. While the BRT will help allow the city to manage the swell in transit demand, its primary function will always be moving Belo Horizonte residents around their city.
MOVE Antônio Carlos is an exciting step forward for Belo Horizonte. By building a strong BRT network, the city is demonstrating its commitment to finding transport solutions that take cars off the road and expand city residents’ mobility.