|Young men juggling block TM buses on Jimenez Ave.|
|A line of halted TM buses on Jimenez.|
|A gouge in Jimenez Ave. Repairing these would cost |
much less than does the damage to buses'
shock absorbers and suspensions.
The potholes along many of TM's corridors, which jar buses' suspensions and passengers' spines, have been one of the system's chronic problems, and many people blame them on corruption and poor design. The problem has been in the news again because of reports of damaged pavement on the new Calle 26 corridor - which hasn't even been inaugurated yet.
|Traditional buses on Carrera 10; old, polluting and inefficient.|
|TM, the way it's supposed to work, |
with open, dedicated lanes.
|Empty TM lanes and stations on Caracas Ave.|
Even more fundamental is the planned Integrated Public Transit System (SITP), which would combine TM, the traditional buses and planned subway and light rail lines into a single, more efficient transit system. Petro also plans to create a congestion charge for private vehicles, which should generate more revenue for public transit. If done well, the changes will relieve the burden on TM and reduce congestion throughout the system.
Bogotá needs to push ahead with resolve and all due speed on these transit reforms. There is no turning back.
|A TransMilenio bus amidst traffic |
near the National University.
Mayor Petro has also talked about creating exclusive lanes for regular buses. If he implements the idea, as he should, mass transit will finally get the priority it deserves over the private car. That would also enable the city to impose more control on the private buses, such as requiring them to control their pollution.
|A mural satirizes TransMilenio's overcrowding problem.|
|A cop escorts a TM bus.|
|Bogotá's old buses.|
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours