Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bogotá's Transit Reform - Still Stuck at Start

A bus stops at a green light, blocking Carrera 10, to let a passenger board.
Bogotá's much-ballyhooed transition from private, commercial buses to publicly-managed SITP buses started off this week so slowly you might not have noticed, if not for the headlines.

Between now and November, the city's thousands of privately-owned and run buses are supposed to either be retired or switched to public control and management and integrated into the SITP system. 

Perhaps that will happen - or perhaps before then the city will discover that it doesn't know how to operate a bus system which people actually want to ride. 

In any case, on the first days of this transition, I found the usual lack of a basic ingredient necessary for bringing order to Bogotá's streets: Law enforcement.

...another bus stops in the middle of the block and in the middle of the street to pick up a passenger.
The calibradores, who tell private bus drivers how far another bus on the same line is ahead of them, were supposed to disappear with the private buses. They're still at work.

A police post at the same intersection. The cops here protect against muggings, but turn a blind eye to transit violations. 
A bus belches diesel smoke. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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