|Drivers wait, and wait, on a downtown Bogotá street. With a congestion charge, they might be home by now.|
|Stopped cars block |
a TM bus.
Is it ready for one?
The answer to the first question is a clear yes, as anybody who's sat thru the city's massive traffic jams can attest. But the second question is more complex.
The municipal and national governments are preparing legislation to enable the city to charge drivers who contribute to traffic jams, particularly in central Bogotá, according to El Espectador.
|A private car, which may carry only one person, |
can occupy almost as much road space as a bus,
with dozens of passengers.
But the two men seemed to damn Bogotá's transit with faint praise: "There's potential," they opined, "but (the transit systems) should be more integrated."
|Bogotá's Parque Nacional turns into a public parking lot on |
many days. Here, cars block a pedestrian ramp.
London implemented its congestion charge when its transit system was ready, the Britons pointed out. Today, London's transit system includes its subway, light rail lines, buses, a cable car, river boats and public bicycles.
Bogotá is not quite there yet.
However, as the number of private cars explodes, Bogotá's huge traffic jams will only get worse, unless official take strong measures soon. And pico y placa has clearly failed.
|Bogotá has a surplus of thousands of old, polluting buses.|
But city leaders fear the bus companies' ire
A congestion charge will not be the perfect solution. Nor will it convert Bogotá transit into that of London or Paris. But it can only be an improvement over the sorry situation that exists now.
|Car economics: 'What they sell', 'What you buy' and 'What we all pay.'|
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours