I think it's important to have constant public communications
campaigns about the "efficiency" and throughput issues. Billboards,
This is the latest version of this type of graphic (first done
in Tampa, later in Charlottesville, and certainly in other places) from
Munster, Germany--how much space and how many vehicles are required to
move the same number of people by mode.
This is an old GE ad from the 1940s.
And some systems like in Los Angeles, have done billboards.. .
The throughput issue, that at best one lane mile can move 2,000
vehicles, and that with regular bus 6,750 people, and with BRT, at
least 10,000 (and more with light rail or subway), has to be constantly
Somehow this kind of efficiency needs to be seen as a
carlosfpardo@ gmail.com wrote:
Regarding the issue on exclusive bus lanes
being overtaken by cars:
- in Bogotá, informal
public transport operators have once or twice
tried to gain the use of exclusive lanes for BRT, with no luck
(fortunately, until now)
- in Quito, traffic
police have decided that, in some sectors of the
city, it would be best to let cars go into the exclusive BRT lanes, to
"relieve congestion". We have done our best to reestablish the priority
of BRT buses and to explain traffic police why it should be that way,
without 100% effectiveness to date.
- now in Jakarta, a
similar temporary measure is being implemented,
I am sometimes frightened by this situation. In the case of Bogotá,
there is an appropriate legal environment that makes it impossible for
all vehicles except BRT vehicles to use the exclusive lane. However,
fact that lanes can be taken by other vehicles is one of the fragile
elements of BRT, especially due to the fact that many car drivers see
the exclusive lane as a waste of space (and thus, ask for a metro).
Explaining to everyone the efficiency of use of space and the need to
give priority to public transport is very difficult.
The reaction to ask for more roads for private transport is literally
what a 5-year old would do, from a developmental psychology point of
view (Piaget's experiments on permanence, etc): in short-term thinking,
it seems only logical that the "empty space" should be filled with
cars to improve traffic flow. What is really an improved efficiency of
space (e.g. no traffic jam on the exclusive lane due to a properly
planned public transport system) is seen as a "waste of space" and the
typical solution is requested: more space for cars. The immediate
consequence (e.g. cars anyway clogged in traffic) proves that the
solution was anyway wrong, but the 20-second time span when cars were
moving to the empty lane seemed rewarding enough to make them do it
again, and again, and again.
Strange. And this, unfortunately, has consequences on political
decisions (e.g. "we need a subway or light rail because there just
any space for buses").
A conclusion could be: traffic police (and many car users) need more
exercise on abstract reasoning. What to do? Comments are most welcome.
Coordinador de Proyecto- Project Coordinator
GTZ - Proyecto de Transporte Sostenible (SUTP, SUTP-LAC)
Cl 93A # 14-17 of 708
Bogotá D.C., Colombia
Tel/fax: +57 (1) 236 2309 Mobile: +57 (3) 15 296 0662