CURITIBA (BDCi) – Despite suggestions for future modes of transportation like hovering trains and supersonic subways, it seems Brazil has found a simple answer: the good old bus.
Bus rapid transit or BRT systems are leading the way in sustainable, efficient and affordable travel with the system already operating in 181 cities around the world.
BRT systems boast exclusive lanes that dominate the center of the road. Bus stops have raised platforms that are level with the bus, making it easy to get on and off.
In addition, prepaid tickets help keep boarding delays to a minimum.
The first BRT system was pioneered back in 1974 in the town of Curitiba. Architect and then-mayor Jaime Lerner’s design transported 50,000 people daily in the 80s, but it now allows for over 2 million passengers a day.
Brazil already has a BRT system in 33 of its cities, like Curitiba, which has one of the highest per capita ownership of private cars in Brazil.
The bus-based infrastructure is much cheaper to build that an underground subway system like in New York or London.
Curitiba is known for being a testing ground for sustainability and this tried and tested BRT technology has definitely been proven successful.
The next step is breaking down the social stigma of “riding the bus” in Brazil and getting more people on board.