The Urban Transport Crisis in Emerging Economies

Part of the series The Urban Book Series pp 59-80



  • Juan Miguel VelásquezAffiliated withWorld Resources Institute Email author 
  • , Darío HidalgoAffiliated withWorld Resources Institute

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The Republic of Colombia is a middle income, highly urbanised country with very large, but declining, public transport share. During two decades, cities initiated a transformation process for public transport provision from a semi regulated, dispersed ownership model to formalized private services under stronger supervision by local governments. The process was sparked by the implementation of TransMilenio, the bus rapid transit (BRT) system in the city of Bogotá, and followed by several cities with the support of the national government. This support has been provided in the form of policy instruments, funding for infrastructure and technical advisory services. Results are mixed; while transformation is evident and brings positive socio-economic indicators, some financial issues prevail, and cities have not been able to curb down motorisation, especially the growth of motorcycles. This chapter provides an overview of background conditions; urban land use and spatial structures; trends in transport use and mobility, urban transport problems; public transport provision; and urban transport governance, decision-making, and financing. An assessment of the impacts of the national and local policies is presented as well as recommendations for strengthening urban public transport sustainability.