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modernizing public TransporTaTion

Lessons learned from major bus improvements in Latin America and Asia

© 2010 World Resources Institute Report by: DARIO HIDALGO Senior Transport Engineer EMBARQ, The WRI Center for Sustainable Transport AILEEN CARRIGAN Transport and Urban Planning Associate EMBARQ, The WRI Center for Sustainable Transport Design andlayout by DAVE K. COOPER

02 03 05 09 21 31 35 37 About WRI and EMBARQ Foreword Executive Summary Overview Synthesis of Findings: Lessons Learned Conclusions and Recommendations Acknowledgments Sources

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons AttributionNoncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The World Resources Institute (WRI) is anenvironmental think tank that goes beyond research to find practical ways to protect the earth and improve people’s lives. Our mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations. Because people are inspired by ideas, empowered by knowledge, and moved to change by greater understanding,WRI provides—and helps other institutions provide—objective information and practical proposals for policy and institutional change that will foster environmentally sound, socially equitable development. WRI organizes its work around four key goals: People & Ecosystems: Reverse rapid degradation of ecosystems and assure their capacity to provide humans with needed goods and services. Governance:Empower people and support institutions to foster environmentally sound and socially equitable decision-making. Climate Protection: Protect the global climate system from further harm due to emissions of greenhouse gases and help humanity and the natural world adapt to unavoidable climate change. Markets & Enterprise: Harness markets and enterprise to expand economic opportunity and protect theenvironment. In all its policy research and work with institutions, WRI tries to build bridges between ideas and action, meshing the insights of scientific research, economic and institutional analyses, and practical experience with the need for open and participatory decision making.

The EMBARQ global network catalyzes environmentally and financially sustainable transport solutions to improvequality of life in cities. Since 2002, the network has grown to include five Centers for Sustainable Transport, located in Mexico, Brazil, India, Turkey and the Andean Region, that work together with local transport authorities to reduce pollution, improve public health, and create safe, accessible and attractive urban public spaces. The network employs more than 100 experts in fields ranging fromarchitecture to air quality management; geography to journalism; and sociology to civil and transport engineering. EMBARQ is a member of the Bus Rapid Transit: Across Latitudes and Cultures (BRT-ALC) Centre of Excellence (, funded by the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations.

2 emBArQ: Modernizing public Transport


WItH MORE Of tHE WORLD’s POPuLAtION LIVINGIN uRbAN AREAs tHAN EVER bEfORE, and the largest agglomerations now home to more than 10 million people, cities today face urgent and complex development challenges. In managing growth and providing services, planners and politicians increasingly seek to balance economic priorities with sustainable development that meets social needs and mitigates environmental impacts. This report examinesefforts by major cities across Latin America and Asia to apply such approaches to public transport. Urban transportation systems significantly affect cities’ quality of life and, through associated air pollution and greenhouse gases, the wider regional and global environments. These impacts can be mitigated by sustainable transport policies which promote cleaner, more efficient public transport...
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