Saturday, June 30, 2012

TM on 26th St: Too Expensive, Too Late and Too Little - But Finally Rolling!

A TransMilenio bus rolls west on 26th St. - But it won't get to the airport. 
Some two years behind schedule, after years of scandal and mismanagement, red TM buses finally started rolling along Calle 26 toward (but not to) the El Dorado Airport.

The Calle 26 TransMilenio line was originally supposed to go into operation in 2010. But then-Mayor Samuel Moreno clearly mismanaged the project and allegedly pocketed kickbacks from the contractors (and is now doing jail time for that).

Many of the vacant stations have
been graffitied and vandalized. 
Today, the line finally started rolling - but only very partially. Because the stations sat empty and unused for so long, many were vandalized. As a result, the TM buses are only stopping at two of them. Also, the Seventh Ave. bridge over 26th has yet to be completed (altho it is close), and so the buses can't reach the street's eastern end, in La Candelaria. Finally, conflicts between different levels of government have blocked the construction of the two westernmost TM stations, which will connect the system to the airport. Those are supposed to be completed early next year.

A TransMilenio station being inauurated yesterday. 
Over recent months Calle 26th's unused TransMilenio lanes have been used as de-facto bike lanes. That's no more.

Workers put finishing touches on Carrera 10's TM line. 
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


MNTraveler said...

I've stumbled upon your blog while researching for my trip to Colombia... thanks for lots of great insights and information. I'm hoping to work a bike tour into my time in Bogota. Question, how far west is the furthest west station on calle 26? Anything near Parque Simon Bolivar? Seems that your web-site is more up to date than the government's Transmilenio site! Thanks, Kara

MNTraveler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miguel said...

Hi MNTraveler,

The furthest west station is about a mile short of the El Dorado Airport.

There is a station about one kilometer from Simon Bolivar Park. However, it's not open yet. Hopefully, a few weeks from now...