Local transport authorities plan to improve city's bus rapid transit network, in preparation for World Cup games.
The government of Belo Horizonte committed to work with EMBARQ and the Center for Sustainable Transport in Brazil (CTS-Brasil) to improve the quality of the city's bus rapid transit (BRT) system, in preparation for the 2014 World Cup games.
Belo Horizonte Mayor Márcio Araújo de Lacerda and CTS-Brasil Director Luis Antonio Lindau signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on August 12 to begin collaborating on the transport project.
Lindau says BRT is a great alternative public transit option: it is fast and reliable, which is what every citizen wants in public transit.
“A high-quality BRT system can even attract new passengers,” Lindau says. “For example, 6 percent of ridership on Metrobus, Mexico City’s BRT system that was implemented in collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Transport in Mexico (CTS-Mexico), is made of people who switched from private vehicles to public transit, and that number is still growing.”
The only way to prevent congestion is to restrict car use, and the easiest way to restrict car use is by providing good public transit, Lindau adds. “Belo Horizonte can become an excellent example for the world of how a high-quality BRT system can provide a viable alternative to private automobile use.”
By the start of the Confederations Cup in 2013, Belo Horizonte (the capital of Minas Gerais state) plans to implement a three-corridor BRT network. Technical cooperation for the project will include an exchange of experiences and lessons learned among the Municipal Government of Belo Horizonte, the Municipal Secretariat of Urban Policies (SMURBE), the Transport and Transit Agency of Belo Horizonte (BHTRANS), and specialists from the EMBARQ Network and CTS-Brasil.
Initial collaboration among the organizations began on August 11 and 12, with a BRT Strategic Alignment Workshop. The workshop convened managers, technicians and bus operators, and laid out a series of key stages that will culminate in the successful implementation of a high-quality BRT system. Workshop participants also developed a structured analysis of project risks.
Planners will rely on the EMBARQ BRT Simulator to perfect the system. The computer software was developed by CTS-Brasil to test the capacity of BRT corridors. Using the simulator, technicians will be able to improve routes and stations before construction begins, saving time and money.
Working with local authorities, EMBARQ and CTS-Brasil aim to improve the quality and efficiency Belo Horizonte’s transport system; reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions; improve accessibility, road safety and public security; improve quality of life in the city’s public spaces; and improve public health.