The “People-oriented Cities” series—exclusive to TheCityFix and Insights—is an exploration of how cities can grow to become more sustainable and livable through transit-oriented development (TOD). The nine-part series will address different urban design techniques and trends that reorient cities around people rather than cars.
bus rapid transit (BRT)
While many of these criticisms are justified, if one looks beyond the shiny new stadiums—namely, to the city streets—a more positive story emerges. World Cup-related investments helped finance sustainable transport systems that will benefit Brazilians long after the final whistle blows.
EMBARQ Mexico discusses three key elements of urban design to support quality public transport, and how it can help cities move towards a transit-oriented development model.
Cities already house half of the world’s population and are expected to add an additional 75 million people each year. The rapid growth of cities, especially in the developing world, presents enormous opportunities and challenges to ensure that growth is equitable and sustainable.
The upcoming World Urban Forum (WUF7), organized by UN-HABITAT, will address the ways cities can become more sustainable and livable for all residents.
National and international experts discuss sustainable transport and urban development in India
Editor’s Note: Watch a live webcast: connectkaro.org/live
New research shows that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) can reduce travel time by millions of hours for commuters worldwide. For instance, BRT users in Istanbul, Turkey, can save 28 days per year by shifting from other transport modes to BRT. Commuters in Johannesburg, South Africa, meanwhile, can save an estimated 73 million hours between 2007 and 2026. That’s the equivalent of more than 9 million eight-hour work-days.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) – a high-quality, efficient, bus-based mode of public transport – can shorten commuting times, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and generally improve quality-of-life for city residents. Today, 160 cities around the world use BRT and busway systems—up from just 45 cities since WRI’s EMBARQ program was founded in 2002. EMBARQ has played a major role in expanding the BRT concept to cities throughout the world.
Rapid urbanization, motorization, and climate change require high-quality, sustainable urban transport solutions that can be developed quickly and cost-effectively. BRT systems can carry up to 46,000 passengers per hour—matching some of the world’s busiest metros—and can be implemented at one-tenth to one-half of the time and cost as subways or light rail. Yet in the early 2000s, BRT systems were largely limited to Latin America, and the rate of adopting the new system had plateaued.
Since EMBARQ’s founding in 2002, our experts have helped implement and develop the BRT concept around the world. We collaborate with local, regional, and national-level decision-makers to provide research and expertise that is both technical – advising on aspects such as safety, operations, fare integration, and branding – and political – navigating relationships to create a common vision.
EMBARQ provided technical assistance to more than 20 cities over the past 11 years. These cities’ BRT systems have now carried passengers on more than 5 billion trips. These systems save passengers almost 30 percent travel time, reduce CO2 emissions, and improve safety. In 2013 alone, we directly influenced new or improved BRT systems in cities such as Lima, Peru; Indore, India; Puebla and Chihuahua, Mexico; and Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Currently, EMBARQ is helping to plan or expand systems in Bangalore, India; Izmit, Turkey; Brasilia, Brazil; and Chengdu, China..
EMBARQ has also played a major role in championing financial support from international banks and national programs, such as in Mexico and India, for sustainable transport systems like BRT. In addition, we’ve published and widely disseminated cutting-edge research such as Modernizing Public Transport, and built BRT capacity through learning networks and trainings.
Today, 160 cities have adopted BRT. The BRT concept has reached a tipping point, with massive new investment and significant expansion planned on six continents. EMBARQ estimates that dozens of cities around the world are planning new or expanding existing BRT or busways, giving citizens access to safe, equitable transport and a higher overall quality of life.
Moving forward, EMBARQ will continue to promote major global BRT scale-up through project implementation, national policy advice, influence in major financing initiatives, and capacity building.
A new publication from EMBARQ explores the existing literature on the safety impacts of sustainable transport – primarily from the United States and Europe – and adding examples from Latin America and South Asia. The evidence suggests that projects that reduce traffic—such as congestion charging—and those that improve infrastructure—such as high-quality mass transport systems—can have a positive impact on traffic safety, in addition to numerous other co-benefits.
Traffic safety impacts of sustainable transport policies
Traffic safety improvements are an often-overlooked benefit of sustainable transport projects and policies. New research from EMBARQ finds that investments in biking and pedestrian infrastructure, improved mass transit systems, and measures to limit motor vehicle usage can all significantly...
EMBARQ India received special recognition in the third edition of the Volvo Sustainable Mobility Awards, announced at last week’s Volvo Nobel Memorial Seminar in Bangalore, India. EMBARQ India’s submission, “Towards a Walkable and Sustainable Bengaluru: A Safe Access Project for Indiranagar Metro,” aims to improve safety and accessibility for bikers and pedestrians around Bangalore’s metro stations.