This webinar will highlight key insights from new research by WRI Ross Center, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) on semiformal and informal transportation services as a viable and legitimate public transportation option in Latin America.

While the region is well known as the “cradle” of bus rapid transit (BRT), the prevalent semiformal transportation services are often overlooked or viewed in a negative light. Many cities have “modernized” the informal sector by using BRT as a technical and governance restructuring tool, but outcomes from decades of experience have been mixed, and reforms often come at a substantial cost. This webinar will discuss alternative approaches to large-scale reform, including improvements to semiformal services through mapping, digitization, driver training and other strategies. Improving access for all residents means investing in informal services and infrastructure too – and integrating them with the formal ones when feasible.

The webinar is co-hosted with IDB and the GEF. It will be delivered in English with simultaneous translation to Spanish.


  • Claudio Alatorre, Lead Climate Change Specialist, Climate Change and Sustainability Division, Inter-American Development Bank
  • Thet Hein Tun, Transportation Research Analyst, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
  • Dario Hidalgo, Senior Mobility Researcher, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
  • Patricia Lynn Scholl, Senior Transport Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank
  • Cristina Albuquerque, Urban Mobility Manager, WRI Brasil Ross Center For Sustainable Cities (moderator)