Examining changes in travel patterns among lower wealth households after BRT investment in Bogotá, Colombia

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - south america, place - urban, mode - bus, mode - bus rapid transit, land use - impacts, ridership - behaviour, ridership - demand


Bus rapid transit, Low income households, Mobility, Travel purpose diversity, Bogotá


Bogotá, Colombia's TransMilenio Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system has garnered praise for its beneficial effects on transit ridership, congestion, and air quality, yet there has been little research into the system's impacts on individuals and households, particularly on the city's lower wealth households. These households tend to be located in peripheral neighborhoods and access the BRT system largely via its sprawling network of feeder buses, rather than directly accessing the more central trunk lines. This paper examines the relationship between BRT access—especially feeder-based BRT access—and the degree to which the city's lower wealth households are able meet needs for mobility and out-of-home activity participation by analyzing changes in self-reported travel patterns among lower wealth households from before to after introduction of the BRT system. A secondary aim of this paper is to propose and test the variable ‘travel purpose diversity’ as an indicator of the degree to which households are able to meet their needs for out-of-home activity participation. Further work is needed to improve measurement of mobility in order to assess the household-level impacts of transit investments, particularly on lower wealth households. The results provide preliminary support for the validity of this indicator. Overall, findings suggest that the introduction of the BRT has not had a substantial or significant impact on the ability of Bogotá's lower wealth households to meet daily mobility needs. The paper presents some possible interpretations of these findings and offers suggestions for additional research to help improve our understanding of the impacts of Bogotá's transit investment.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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