Since 1998 Bogotá has implemented a comprehensive urban mobility strategy that includes promotion of nonmotorized transport (bicycle paths), restriction of automobile use during certain hours and days (approved by public referendum), and a bus rapid transit system (Transmilenio).
Using exclusive busways on central lanes of major roads and a network of feeder buses and stations, the system provides express and local services and carries 45,000 passengers an hour per direction. Vehicle operations, passenger access, and ticketing services are carried out by private companies through competitively tendered concessions. The new bus system is attracting ridership by former car users and restoring respect for public transport.
By mid- 2001 the system had achieved high productivity (630,000 trips per weekday) at a fare that fully covers operating costs, with no traffic fatalities. Some air pollutants have been reduced by 40 percent, and user travel time is down by 32 percent. Bogotá’s transport strategy benefited from strong mayoral leadership in articulating a long-term vision and representing the interests of noncar users despite the resistance of motor vehicle lobbies. The program also required partnership between the private concessionaires and the municipal government, which financed and implemented the physical infrastructure and provided the dedicated road space.