Curitiba’s BRT: Inspired Bus Rapid Transit Around the World
Curitiba, Brazil first adopted its Master Plan in 1968. Since then, it has become a city well known for inventive urban planning and affordable (to the user and the city) public transportation.
Curitiba's Bus Rapid Transit system is the source of inspiration for many other cities including the TransMilenio in Bogotá, Colombia; Metrovia in Guayaquil, Ecuador; as well as the Orange Line of Los Angeles.
This video illustrates how Curitiba's public transportation system operates and the urban planning and land use principles on which it is based, including an interview with the former Mayor and architect Jaime Lerner. Current city employees also discuss the improvements that are being made to the system to keep it up to date and functioning at the capacity of a typical subway system. Curitiba is currently experimenting with adding bypassing lanes on the dedicated BRT routes and smart traffic lights to prioritize buses. They are even constructing a new line which will have a linear park and 18km of bike lane that parallels the bus transit route.
Enrique Penalosa: [0:06] We learn a lot from Curitibas. We copied the bus system from Curitibas.
Ismael Bagatin Franca: [speaking Portuguese] [0:15]
Jaime Lerner: [0:28] When we started the whole idea that every city which is close to one million people should have a subway. At that time Curitibas had 700,000 people. [clapping sound] A subway should have speed, reliability, comfort, and good frequency. We started to imagine, could we have on surface all these conditions?
Ismael Bagatin Franca: [speaking Portuguese] [1:00]
Clever Ubiratan Teixeira de Almaida: [speaking Portuguese] [1:13]
Jaime Lerner: [1:21] We started with one line with 25,000 passengers a day, but this system is being improved and now it's transporting 2,300,000 passengers a day, which is the same number of the subway of SÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â£o Paulo.
Kenneth Kruckemeyer: [1:39] 75 percent of the people in Curitibas get to work on a bus every morning. A city like Phoenix has exactly the same population as Curitibas over the past 250 years, and yet in Phoenix one percent of the people go to work on a bus.
Clever Ubiratan Teixeira de Almaida: [speaking Portuguese] [1:54]
Ismael Bagatin Franca: [speaking Portuguese] [2:18]
Jaime Lerner: [2:24] A normal bus in a normal street transports X passengers per day. If you have a double articulated bus, a double accordion, in a dedicated lane, paying before entering the bus, and boarding at the same level, you can have four times more passengers per day in the same space. One bus, 300 passengers every 30 seconds is 36,000 passengers per hour one direction, which is the number of a subway.
Clever Ubiratan Teixeira de Almaida: [speaking Portuguese] [2:58]
Speaker: [speaking Portuguese] [3:40]
Luis Patricio: [speaking Portuguese] [4:03]
Dr. Fabio Duarte: [4:22] Every time when people say, for instance, well the subway system would be better for the city because then we could put the bus out of the city, the traffic will be better because all the mass transportation will be under the ground. It's a better way of thinking the problem because the problem is not the people who use the buses, but the people who use cars. So I think to incentive the BRT System and put more buses on the streets, it's good for us.
Clever Ubiratan Teixeira de Almaida: [speaking Portuguese] [4:49]
Ismael Bagatin Franca: [speaking Portuguese] [5:04]
Luis Patricio: [speaking Portuguese] [5:19]
Clever Ubiratan Teixeira de Almaida: [speaking Portuguese] [5:30]
Caroline Samponaro: [6:02] So the major lesson that New York City should take from Curitibas with regard to bicycle planning is that when bus rapid transit is brought into a city, bicycles need to be factored into the designs. So all of the old bus rapid transit lines in the city don't incorporate bicycles at all, but the city in Curitibas is now realizing that bicycles want to ride on these streets that have been redesigned and made so much calmer.
Dr. Fabio Duarte: [6:25] The new line, the green line, we have the two bus lanes, the bypass lanes, and we have the bike lane.
Speaker: [speaking Portuguese] [6:33]
Speaker: [speaking Portuguese] [6:37]
Clever Ubiratan Teixeira de Almaida: [speaking Portuguese] [6:51]
Ismael Bagatin Franca: [speaking Portuguese] [7:04]
Dr. Fabio Duarte: [7:12] We can go from the bus stop to the stores or the house, et cetera, almost each 100 meters we have a kind of crossing street. This gives to the city permeability, so people can walk around and use the stores, et cetera.
Clever Ubiratan Teixeira de Almaida: [speaking Portuguese] [7:29]
Jaime Lerner: [7:47] There is no win for creativity. So if you want creativity, cut one zero from your budget. If you want sustainability, cut two zeros. If you want to make it happen, do it fast.