Friday, October 25, 2013

Transit Rolls Foward...Just a Bit

Passengers entering the newly-opened Museo Nacional TransMilenio Station.
Years late and way over budget, the elaborate Museo Nacional TransMilenio Station finally opened to passengers today. The huge station is the only one which is completely underground and includes some nice public space. 

Passengers inaugurate the
new Museo Nacional
TransMilenio station.
But the station lacks its main reason for being - handling new and rational transit for Ave. Septima. Several transit plans for the avenue, including versions of TransMilenio, a 'green corridor' and light rail, have either died or fallen into legal limbo. Mayor Petro's administration still insists on building a light rail line. But the project's financial and engineering viability are in doubt, as is Petro's future in office. 

As a temporary measure, the city plans to add newer, relatively clean buses capable of running on either diesel or electricity to La Septima. Unfortunately, however, traffic congestion and pollution won't be reduced by adding more vehicles, but by removing the old, polluting buses now choking and polluing the avenue. 

Transit officials say they'll start removing those old buses in December. But this city administration has so far seemed unwilling to defy the bus companies, and has left old bus lines on other avenues with new TM lines, so don't hold your breath. (Or, rather, do hold your breath, so as not to gulp that pollution.)

And even if the city does manage to remove those old buses, will it allow the companies to simply place them on other avenues, to continue polluting and congesting?
Bogotá transit authorities plan to add cleaner, modern buses which can operate on either diesel or electricity. But the old, highly-polluting buses? Well, they're supposed to be retired in December. We'll see.

A SITP bus stop.

Routine traffic congestion on Carrera 30. Will old buses finally removed from La Septima just be shifted to other streets?

My obligatory photos of buses belching smoke. (Both taken this afternoon.) If Bogotá wants cleaner air, why don't authorities actually enforce emssions laws?

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

1 comment:

Camilo Espitia said...

Hi Mike;
Thanks for your blog and raising awareness on these issues.
Unfortunately, with such bad planning and administration, even the best works or attempts fall through the crack and end up being useless or not as useful as planned.
Saludos desde New York de un bogotano.
MIl gracias