Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Sickly SITP

A SITP bus in its usual condition: Empty.
Bogotá's SITP (Integrated System of Public Transit) was supposed to be the city's traffic saviour. Those blue buses would drive carefully, stop only at designation stations, not pollute and, most importantly, replace and eliminate those old, polluting, traditional buses.

But things don't seem to be working out that way.

But, as some of us have observed, many of the SITP buses are just as polluting as the traditional buses.

The SITP buses do restrict themselves to only picking up passengers at buses. But I have often seen SITPs blowing past red lights at intersections.

And just the other day, Bogotá transit officials announced that the complete SITP system would not be operating early next year after all.

Add to all this the fact that the SITPs usually carry few or no possengers. Perhaps that's why some of the small urban bus companies announced recently that they'll drop their participation in the system.

What does this all mean? For starters, that governments are usually incompetent at running businesses.

What else does it mean? That Bogotá will be cursed for a long time yet with chaotic, ancient and highly polluting buses.

Almost-empty SITP buses make their own traffic jam.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


Unknown said...

I don't know for certain but the recent expansion of the Transmilenio to include buses on regular streets could be the reason the SITP buses are being discontinued.

I prefer to use the Transmilenio buses on Septima over the other small buses.

Miguel said...

Thanks for your comment Andy. Far from being discontinued, however, I was told today that they plan to increase the number of SITP buses from the current 2,000 to about 8,000 next year. By then, supposedly the traditional small buses are to be retired.


Unknown said...

I noticed yesterday that the red, Transmilenio buses on Septima and other streets have the SITP and the Transmilenio "T" logos.

I am all in favor of the small buses being replaced by larger capacity, and hopefully cleaner buses.

Miguel said...

Hi Andy,

Yes, those are the bimodal buses 'padrones', which use EuroV diesel and are supposed to be clean and efficient, etc. But that will depend on them actually maintaining the buses, so only time will tell. Also, the city has not yet removed any of the old, highly-polluting buses from the avenue. Only time will tell whether they have the guts to challenge the bus companies.