Bike Paths, Bus Rapid Transit Going Strong in Latin American Cities
Emilio Godoy - Inter Press Service
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January 8, 2014
The Ecobici program parks bikes in key spots in the Mexican capital for the use of commuters who pay an annual fee. (bigthink.com)
MEXICO CITY - Sustainable transport grew in the Latin American cities of Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro in 2013.
The left-wing government of the Mexican capital inaugurated the fifth Metrobús bus rapid transit (BRT) system route and extended the Ecobici Individual Transport System.
It also expanded the Ecoparq parking meter system – a new parking management scheme – into new areas on the west side of the city and opened up a new pedestrian-only street in the old city.
In the Argentine capital, meanwhile, the third Metrobús line began to operate with great success on Avenida 9 de Julio, and the government expanded its “Buenos Aires, mejor en bici” (Buenos Aires, Better by Bike) programme.
In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the centre-right city government forged ahead with the construction of the Transcarioca and Transbrasil BRT corridors, while the second stage of the Transoeste BRT project got underway.
The network of bicycle paths was also enlarged, as part of the infrastructure planned for the FIFA World Cup, to be held in Brazil from Jun. 12 to Jul. 13, and the 2016 Olympic summer games in Rio de Janeiro.
In Mexico City, “there have been interesting projects, but they haven’t been carried out at the desired speed,” Bernardo Baranda, Latin America director for the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), told IPS.
He called for more initiatives and said they should be more rapidly implemented, aimed at “a further reduction of the use of automobiles” in greater Mexico City, home to more than 20 million people.
As part of that objective, he said it was important to expand Ecobici, which includes exclusive and non-exclusive bike lanes as well as a bike-share system.
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