TransMilenio Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

User generated Initiative

Location: Bogotá, Colombia

Population: 8,080,734 [metropolitan area]

Climate: Sub-tropical highland

Duration: 2000-active

Sector: Transport

Key stakeholders: Private and public sector

City networks: Colombian Federation of Municipalities (FCM); ICLEI


Savings: Fuel savings up to 47% per year and increased fuel efficiency.

Solutions: Design and implementation of a new bus system.

Multiple benefits: Increased citizen safety and air quality.


The capital of Colombia, Bogotá, has implemented an efficient and innovative bus system for urban transport using a Private Public Partnership (PPP). The public sector, represented by the TransMilenio S.A., planned the project with funding responsibilities and daily supervision. The private sector participated by involving companies in the bidding process for awarding buses to upgrade.

Objective – To provide efficient and safe public transportation for the citizens of Bogotá, while decongesting the urban traffic.

Solutions – The project implemented the bus rapid transit (BRT) system by using new buses with Euro II and III technologies, with capacity to transport 160 passengers per bus. The infrastructures of the city have aligned with the objective of this project by creating 22 central trunk corridors, feeder zones, terminal stations and establishing new bus lanes, while banning the traditional bussed from trunk corridors. In 2017, the project incorporated its first electric bus [source].

Funding – The project used funds of approximately USD 2.1 billion. The funds came from local fuel taxes, national government grants, a World Bank loan and other local funds.

Innovation – This project is the first BRT system implemented worldwide. Moreover, this PPP does not require subsidies for the operations as it uses an innovative point-scheme for the bidding companies. This scheme looks at the working capital, experience, quality and emission levels of the buses. Thus, the companies had strong incentives in having good performances because of the competitiveness and of temporary contracts.

Success factors – The bidding process provided sufficient technical resources to the project, which lead to a successful design and implementation of the BRT. The inclusion of the stakeholders in the design phase gave further incentives to the private partners to upgrade their performance in improving energy efficiency. The outreach to the public played an important role in the achievement of financial success as it encouraged the civil society to use this new system.


Significant outcomes:

  • Fuel saved by 47% annually as result of the project;
  • Operating costs decreased;
  • Air quality improved as result of the project: air emissions decreased by 40%;
  • Fuel efficiency increased;
  • Citizens safety increased as result of the project: robberies at bus stops decreased by 47%, injuries decreased by 75%, and collisions decreased by 79%;
  • Public awareness on transport issues increased.

Synergies with local policies:

  • Financial Support Fund for Energy Provision in Non-Interconnected Zones (FAER) is a fund focusing on the expansion of renewable and non-renewable energy sources [source].

Political alignment:

Marketability:

  • The government is committed to replicate this model in Medellín, Pereira, Bucaramanga, Barranquilla, and Cartegena.

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