Asia and Latin America to cooperate on improving public transport.
The first Asia BRTs Conference will be held in the city of Ahmedabad, India, on September 6-8, 2012.
The event will include a discussion on establishing the Asia BRTs Association (ABA), which will serve as an international forum for cooperation, knowledge sharing and business development on bus rapid transit (BRT), following the example of the Latin American Association of Integrated Transport Systems and BRT (SIBRT), for which EMBARQ serves as Technical Secretariat.
This presents a unique opportunity to form the basis for cooperation between Asia and Latin American transit agencies.
The conference is organized by the city hall of Ahmedabad and the Center for Excellence in Urban Transport of CEPT University. It aims to share knowledge of innovative BRT ideas and designs from cities worldwide. It brings together representatives of local, national and international government, public and private bus operators, industry suppliers, academics and researchers, experts and NGOs.
"Our Association is very proud of this because, when the Association was planned during the Fair of Transmilenio in 2009, we emphasized the purpose of SIBRT to put the seal of Latin America in an advanced place worldwide, with the modernization and definition of high-quality standards for urban public transport," said Luis Gutierrez, EMBARQ's Latin America Strategic Director and SIBRT General Secretary.
Gutierrez will present SIBRT's work over the past two years and how it has become a successful Association for local public transport agencies, through its work in benchmarking, communication and strategic alliances.
Gutierrez will give two presentations: one on the experience and challenges of BRT in Latin America, and another, on the lines of action and organizational structure of SIBRT. Two SIBRT member agencies—Metrovía of Guayaquil, Ecuador and URBS of Curitiba, Brazil—have also been invited to present their experiences at the conference.
BRT in Latin America
Today, 62 percent of the global demand for BRT and exclusive lanes is concentrated in 48 cities in Latin America. Meanwhile, 24 cities in Asia account for 31 percent of the global demand. This shows the importance of Latin America in leading the modernization of public transport.
BRT in Asia
Many Asian cities have adopted bus-based systems as a sustainable and cost-efficient transport option, following the pioneering example of BRT in Curitiba, Brazil. More than 25 cities in Asia are operating some form of BRT with varying degrees of success. Many other Asian cities are in various stages of planning and implementation of BRT projects.
Urban mobility problems in Asian cities are increasing due to rapid population growth, motorization and urbanization. As a result, the cities are facing serious problems of congestion, pollution and traffic safety. A high-quality public transport is widely accepted as an important solution to mitigate these problems.