Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Short-Cut Out of TransMilenio

TM passengers leave the station the fast and informal way, by leaping off the platform onto the street. 

Passengers wait by an open door. These doors are
supposed to  slide shut. The man on the end with the
plastic bag had climbed ONTO the platform, evading
the line and the farebox.
Narrow escape. Passengers squeeze out between buses.
Passing the Museo de Oro TransMilenio station during rush hour today I saw these people exiting, against the rules, the short way.

In the past, I've seen folks sneak in this way to escape paying the fare. But these people were leaping out, in order to avoid the crowds and lines in the station. But, with buses passing by, they're taking a real risk.

The phenomenon is a measure of the system's inadequacy, particularly during peak times. And of doors which don't slide shut when they're supposed to.
Bogotá is expanding the express bus system, but that work is way behind schedule. A new line on Carrera 10 should be complete in a month or two, when they finally finish the underground station in front of the Museo Nacional. Only God knows when the airport line will finally operate fully.
Best to be avoided. A crowded TM entrance/exit.
Meanwhile, the future of transit along Ave. Septima, a fundamental corridor, keeps changing. Will the city build light rail? A metro? Or another TransMilenio line? 

While we wait to find out, the TransMilenio system will get more crowded and the traffic jams will get worse. 

A row of backed-up TM buses wait to move. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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