Title

TRANSPORTATION POLICIES IN BOGOTA, COLOMBIA: BUILDING A TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM FOR THE PEOPLE

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2002

Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - track, infrastructure - busway, planning - route design, ridership - commuting, organisation - management, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - mass transit, mode - bike, mode - bike

Keywords

Vehicular traffic control, Transportation policy, Transit, Traffic management (Traffic control), Street traffic control, Roadwork, Road maintenance, Public transit, Public space, Political factors, Political aspects, Nonmotorized transportation, Mass transit, Local transit, Leadership, Institutional issues, Highway traffic control, Highway maintenance, Cycling paths, Cycle tracks, Busways, Bogota (Colombia), Bikeways, Bicycle trails, Bicycle routes, Bicycle paths, Automobile restraint

Abstract

Innovative policies implemented in Bogota, Colombia, during the 3-year (1998-2000) administration of Mayor Enrique Pealosa were intended to transform a car-centered transportation system into a people-oriented one. To achieve this, the administration established policies in seven areas: institutional strengthening, restraining private car use, public space, mass transit, nonmotorized transport, road maintenance, and traffic management. Bogota's transportation system was to become more people friendly by emphasizing the construction of busways and bike paths and by clearing sidewalks of parked cars and street vendors. Moreover, the administration took the lead in taking space away from cars. Success is difficult to appraise given the short time elapsed. What is clear, however, is that people supported the measures once they saw results, and the mayor left office with a record approval rating. The busway project, Transmilenio, is the prime example. Decisive and persistent leadership, political will, and strong institutions were the critical factors contributing to success.