Posts Tagged ‘Brazil’

bus rapid transit is a global phenomenon, up nearly 400% in over 10 years

Monday, June 29th, 2015

BRT system is a global phenomenon

At vivaNext, we’re working hard to build a Bus Rapid Transit [BRT] system. And we’re not alone! Our vision of fast, reliable and convenient BRT service is shared by many cities and regions, all over the world.

Bus Rapid Transit is a global phenomenon that has nearly quadrupled over the last 10 years, growing 383% worldwide from 2004 to 2014, according to data compiled by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.


buses! buses!

Former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, Enrique Peñalosa, said it best with his rally cry: “Buses! Buses! Buses! Buses!” That was his response to a suggestion that some municipalities might benefit from a subway.

Indeed, for many cities and regions, BRT simply makes sense. A BRT system can be built at a fraction of the cost and time of a rail system – in the span of a few years instead of a decade or more – and still provide service that can be just as reliable, fast and frequent as a train.

More cities and regions are turning to BRT as their transportation solution, with 1,849 kilometres of new lines added globally in the last decade. In York Region, our contribution was the six- kilometre stretch of rapidway on Highway 7 East! And that’s just the beginning.


32 million global BRT riders every day

Around the world, 32 million people ride BRT every day, according to the global database  That’s 5,087 kilometres of BRT lines in 193 cities.

The undisputed global leader of the movement is Latin America with nearly 20 million passengers, followed by Asia with 8.7 million. Brazil is the birthplace of BRT, and the country with the largest network of systems; nearly 12 million passengers a day in 34 cities!

Bus Rapid Transit grew the most in China with construction of 552 new kilometres over the last decade, followed by Brazil with 345 kilometres, and Mexico with 234 kilometres, according to the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.

Closer to home in North America, BRT is a small but growing phenomenon with one million passengers in 27 cities. The United States was fourth worldwide in terms of growth, with 104 kilometres of new lanes built in the last 10 years.


9.6 million annual riders on Highway 7 East rapidway

Here in York Region, we’re working hard to bring the vivaNext vision to life. Our current plan will include 34 kilometres of rapidway once construction is complete, connecting the communities of Markham, Vaughan, Richmond Hill and Newmarket. That includes the six kilometres already running in Markham. We’re also forging connections with the Spadina Subway Extension, and advancing plans for the Yonge North Subway Extension. In 2014, our Highway 7 East rapidway in Markham had 9.6 million riders, so we’re well on our way.

We’re building rapidways but the true end product is something much greater – mobility. Mobility makes everything possible. Because BRT runs in designated lanes it’s not subject to the whims of traffic. When our rapidways are complete, people will know they can rely on Viva service to get where they need to go – to work, to school, and to life.  As our communities grow and roads get more congested, our rapidway system will be ready to meet the growing demands of our region – part of a global movement moving people forward into the future


Curitiba, Brazil: a model city for transit use

Friday, June 12th, 2009
A bus in Curitiba stops to pick up and drop off passengers. Notice the dedicated lane and the station that allows for level boarding at all doors.

A bus in Curitiba stops to pick up and drop off passengers. Notice the dedicated lanes and the station that allows for level boarding at all doors.

Curitiba, Brazil, home to over 3.5 million people in the greater area, has one of the most used and advanced bus rapid transit systems in the world. In fact, about 75% of the city’s commuters use the system for their daily trips to work. That’s a big contrast to the Greater Toronto Area where about 22% take transit according to Statistics Canada.

Like many bus rapid transit systems around the world, Curitiba’s buses are in their own lanes and move unimpeded by congestion and traffic signals as they have signal priority. They have a pre-boarding fare payment system and level boarding that works similarly to a subway, allowing for the fastest boarding possible and; therefore, less time between buses and higher capacity. People pay their fare and enter an elevated tube-shaped station. They say their capacity for a line is 36,000 riders/hour, which is similar to a subway.

Curitiba has not always had a transit vision. In the 1940s, the city had envisioned growth built around the car. But in the 1960s, a ballooning population made the city rethink expansion. A new vision was adopted that put strict controls on urban sprawl, reduced auto traffic in the downtown core and developed a convenient and affordable public transit system. They also changed the idea of a city growing outward from its city centre to development being built along corridors that branch out from the centre.

The system is credited with reducing the number of auto trips per year by 27 million. Curitiba uses 30% less fuel per capita than other cities in Brazil and has one of the lowest rates of ambient air pollution. Their system has been the inspiration for systems in Los Angeles, Bogota and Panama City to name a few.

Our goal is to provide you with the best possible rapid transit system. We can’t be like them weather wise (they have an average winter temperature of 13 degrees), but we can have a rapid transit system built around corridors that is fast and convenient.

What did you think about Curitiba? Can you imagine 75% of people in York Region taking transit for their daily commute?

Watch a film about the system in Curitiba

Learn more about the evolution of BRT