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insights on Bogota's TransMilenio busway

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  • eric.britton@ecoplan.org
    ... Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2004 05:50:25 -0500 From: Lloyd Wright Subject: Re: [Re: [RE: FW: feeder systems in other cities]] Bogotá is indeed
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 25, 2004
      Fwd: insights on Bogota's transmilenio busway


         Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2004 05:50:25 -0500
         From: Lloyd Wright <LFWright@...>
      Subject: Re: [Re: [RE: FW: feeder systems in other cities]]

      Bogotá is indeed currently hitting over 36,000 pphpd with BRT only; there is no urban rail system in the city.  The system currently has 58 km of exclusive busways (with another 330 km in either planning or constructuion) and 309 km of feeder routes.  It currently serves a little over 800,000 passengers per day.  They are able to hit the unusually high pphpd for a couple of reasons:

      1. All trunk corridors either have two lanes per direction or at least a passing lane at stations. 2. They average 3 minute headways during the day, but it may be as low as 60 seconds at peak times. 3. Dwell times are approximately 20 seconds 4. The stations have multiple bays, some can handle three buses per direction stopping simultaneously 5. All corridors have multiple permutations of local, limited stop, and express services (and thus, although the headway per route averages 3 minutes, there is some type of service going by every 15-30 seconds)

      Bogota has a population of 7 million and a population density of 250 persons per hectare.

      In Latin America, a standard single lane per direction busway seems to have a peak capacity of about 13,000 pphpd (Quito and Curitiba).  A single lane per direction busway using a convoy set-up (i.e. platooning) seems to be able to reach 20,000 pphpd (Porto Alegre).  A system with multiple lanes and/or passing lanes at stations seems to be able reach 30,000+ (Bogota and Sao Paulo).

      There are currently five cities in Latin America with at-level entry systems in conjunction with high-floor articulated buses: Bogota, Curitiba (Brazil), Goiania (Brazil), Porto Alegre (Brazil), and Quito (Ecuador).  None of these use any special alignment technologies (e.g., optical, magnetic, or mechanical guidance).  Curitiba and Quito use a flip-down ramp (as known as a bridge

      plate) to allow direct and easy boarding.  Bogota and the other cities simply leave a 5-7 cm gap that the passengers cross.  I prefer the bridge plate since it is easier on wheelchairs, and I believe it actually speeds up loading.  The philosophy in Bogota was that they did not want to lose the 1.5 seconds it takes for the ramp to deploy when the bus stops.

      For more information on Bogota and these other systems, there are a couple of documents on the ITDP web site that can be useful ("BRT Planning Guide" and the "MRT Choices" documents.  There is also a very good and detailed study on the Jakarta system on the site:


      Also, if you read Spanish, the Bogota TransMilenio system has its own web site with some useful information:


      Hope this is helpful.

      Best regards,



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