|Trash and faded buildings on Plaza San Victorino, which is bordered by three TransMilenio stations.|
But one thing which TransMilenio has not done is bring economic and cultural renaissance to the neighborhoods around many stations, as these scenes attest.
Bogotá's dream of building a subway depends heavily for financing on taxing projected increases in value of real estate neighboring the stations. However, the evident lack of property appreciation around TransMilenio stations makes one wonder whether a subway will have much of an effect, either.
Of course, the city might do something about this, by subsidizing or providing tax breaks for renovations and new transit-oriented businesses and apartments near bus and, perhaps someday, subway stations.
Naturally, a more pleasant, safer-feeling environment around transit stations encourages more people to use the service.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours
|Faded apartment/office buildings overlook the new San Victorino TransMilenio station on Carrera 10. They've shown no signs of rejuvenation since the station's opening.|
|Carrera 10, near the big, new Bicentenario TransMilenio station, is lined with pawn shops.|
|And roamed by prostitutes.|
|The busy Ave. Jimenez station hasn't done much to bring life to the adjoining Los Martires Plaza.|
|Tagged walls face the Centro Memoria station on Calle 26.|
|An exit from the Bicentenario station leads to the notorious San Bernardino neighborhood.|
|Perhaps an exception: This apartment tower was just completed beside the Ciudad Universitaria station on Calle 26.|