Quantifying the relative importance of rapid transit implementation barriers: Evidence from ecuador

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - south america, place - urban, mode - bus rapid transit, planning - public consultation, planning - methods, planning - surveys


Rapid transit, Planning, Implementation, Barriers, Developing cities, Ecuador


Nineteen rapid transit projects have been planned in Ecuador, but only nine projects reached implementation. This research evaluates the critical barriers for project implementation along with corresponding mitigation measures. A mixed method, based on an existing theoretical framework and Best-Worst Scaling (BWS), is proposed and applied. The analyses are grounded by in-depth interviews and surveys conducted with the technical teams of the planned projects. Results suggest the top tier of the critical barriers is composed of 1) lack of political leadership, commitment or continuity; 2) underestimation of implementation complexities; 3) political frictions; and 4) rushed planning processes. Seven key mitigation strategies were identified and linked to each barrier: 1) Connect the social, political and technical perspectives; 2) Aim at starting construction before the end of political cycles; 3) Increase the private role in the procurement strategy; 4) Increase community input during planning; 5) Generate public opinion monitoring; 6) Adapt projects features to community input (when applicable); and 7) Focus on the implementation of one trunkline at a time. Moreover, evidence suggests critical barriers are not technology specific, but rather endemic to the planning process and that the projects' critical political dependence promoted planning based on political cycles in detriment of long-term efforts. These findings align with previous results from developing cities, confirming the transferability of results at an aggregate level, but also showed that the barriers and corresponding mitigation measures can be context specific.


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


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