75% of transit users say the system is "very good"
The first public evaluation of Macrobús, the first and only bus rapid transit system in Guadalajara, revealed positive user acceptance ratings of the initial corridor, which launched in March.
The survey, conducted by Mural, an independent local news media organization, found that most people had positive feedback about the new system.
User Survey Results:
Percentage of respondents who indicated the following responses:
72% - very good/good
14% - fair
14% - bad/very bad
The survey is the first test of the system from a user perspective and shows a positive overall impact, and indicates the main areas of concern and improvement.
"Guadalajara is rapidly becoming in a paradigm in BRT implementation for middle-size cities," says EMBARQ Senior Transport Engineer Dario Hidalgo.
The system launched only two years after the concept was embraced by the state authorities and one year after the construction of the first of three planned corridors began.
The Macrobús system began operations on March 10, 2009, with a 16-kilometer bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor running from Fray Angelico in the south of the city to El Mirador in the north. The corridor incorporates all the components of a high-level BRT system, including dedicated lanes, enclosed stations with level access and prepayment, large buses with multiple doors, advanced fare collection, control and user information systems and a sleek brand image. The BRT corridor is integrated with the city's light rail and 15 bus feeder routes.
Macrobús Quick Facts
Length of bus corridor: 16 km
Number of stations: 27
Number of articulated buses: 41 (Euro IV standard, fueled with ultra-low sulfur diesel)
Current ridership: 90,000 passengers/day in trunk services, as of May 2009
Total expected ridership: 170,000 passengers/day
Current peak load: 2,500 passengers/hour/direction, as of May 2009
Expected peak load: 4,500 passengers/hour/direction
Frequency: 12 buses/hour during express service; 12 buses/hour during local service
Commercial speed: 24 km/hour express service; 19 km/hour local service
Operational productivity: 8 passengers/bus-km
Capital productivity: 2,000 passengers/bus/day
Feeder services: 15 feeder routes, integrated at 7 stations, and 103 small buses
Infrastructure investment: MXP 600 million (MXP 37.5 million/km), equivalent to USD 46.2 million (USD 2.9 million/km)
Equipment investment: ~MXP 195 million (buses, fare collection), equivalent to ~USD 15 million (USD 0.9 million/km)
Cost effectiveness: USD 765 per passenger/day
User fare: MXP 5 + 1 (first integration with feeder) + 0 (second integration with feeder) + 2.50 (integration with LRT) USD 0.38 + 0.08 + 0.00 + 0.19
Marks of Success:
The corridor design incorporates several enhancements over other BRT applications in the region, including:
- Good integration with light rail and feeder services from the start-up;
- Wider stations with adequate space for internal circulation;
- Good pavements and segregation devices for the bus lanes;
- Buses with advanced emission control (Euro IV standard) and use of ultra-low sulfur diesel;
- Wide zebra crossings;
- Good static information, including maps, signs, and instructions consistent with the overall system image;
- Smaller occupancy standards (planning is done for a maximum of 140 passengers per bus); observed occupancy was low during the off-peak.
EMBARQ Network's Role:
EMBARQ and CTS-México provided critical support for project planning and implementation and continue to monitor the project's performance. In March 2007, EMBARQ and CTS-México helped the city to create a detailed road map, which was instrumental in project oversight.
CTS-México also assigned two professionals to the project. They provided advisory services during the system design and were able to bring timely responses from the rest of the EMBARQ Network. EMBARQ also leveraged support from the Andean Development Corporation (CAF), which provided a $250,000 non-reimbursable grant. These funds were used to retain experienced consultants from Brazil and Colombia. CTS-México helped the city define the scope of work and provided coordination and oversight of their activities. The most important tasks included training and capacity building of the operations staff.
Rapid and high quality implementation was made possible because of a unique combination of factors:
- Strong political will of the State Governor, including funding for project infrastructure
- Outstanding administrative abilities of the person in charge of heading the project, Mr. Diego Monraz
- Good coordination among the state and local agencies involved in the process
- Acceptance of the project by the incumbent operators of the corridor (Alianza Transportadora), which embraced the change in their concession contracts and created the new private concessionaire in charge of acquiring new buses and running operations
- Timely budgeting and contracting by state authorities
- Experienced advisers and consultants supporting the process, partially funded by a grant from the Andean Development Corporation (CAF), secured by EMBARQ and CTS-México
- Technical advisory services and project coordination provided by CTS-México with funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Shell Foundation and Caterpillar Foundation
- Support and oversight from civil society organizations, such as the Colectivo Ecologista de Jalisco, and academic institutions like the College of Architecture, Art, and Design of the University of Guadalajara.
Room for Improvement:
While the Macrobús system demonstrates several important achievements, many components were yet to be completed after two months of operations. In particular, there was a perceived need for the following actions:
- Enhance training of the bus drivers to increase commercial speeds and service reliability;
- Complete staffing for the public agency in charge of operational planning and control;
- Continue and expand the efforts to provide adequate information to the users, especially on the use of the card vending and re-charge machines;
- Complete sidewalks and pedestrian accessibility infrastructure (in construction as of April 2009);
- Complete signaling system (not fully operational as of April 2009);
- Relocate some remaining routes on the corridor;
- Improve air circulation within the buses to reduce heat;
- Be careful with the financial equilibrium by controlling supply during the off-peak periods.
It is evident that the authorities in charge of the project are taking appropriate steps to solve most of these issues. There is also the commitment to implement an additional two corridors in the next three years to complete a 81-kilometer BRT network, which in conjunction with the existing 20-kilometer light rail would cover the travel needs for 50% of daily commuters in the metropolitan region. EMBARQ, CTS-México and the World Resources Institute will continue to support system oversight, and will make a special effort to improve system performance.
+Click here to view a slideshow of Macrobús.