TransMilenio

TransMilenio
TransMilenio S. A. Bogotá logo.svg
Bogotá - Bus de Transmilenio.JPG
Overview
LocaleBogotá and Soacha, Colombia
Transit type
Number of lines12[1]
Number of stations148
Daily ridership2.4 million (September 2018)[1]
Annual ridership681 million (2018)[2]
Websitetransmilenio.gov.co
Operation
Began operationDecember 2000
Operator(s)
  • Consorcio Express
  • Gmovil
  • Transmasivo
  • Ciudad Móvil
  • Connexion Móvil
  • Somos K
  • BMO S.A.S Bogotá Móvil
  • SI18 S.A.S
Technical
System length114.4 km (71 mi)[1]
System map

TransMilenio Bogota Map.png

TransMilenio is a bus rapid transit (BRT) system that serves Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, and Soacha. The system opened to the public in December 2000, covering Caracas Avenue and 80 street. Other lines were added gradually over the next several years, and as of 2019, 12 lines totalling 114.4 km (71 mi)[1] run throughout the city.

TransMilenio bus at a station
Bi-articulated bus on Avenida Jiménez
Construction of Line K on 26 Avenue
Calle 100 station

It was inspired by Curitiba's Rede Integrada de Transporte (Integrated Transportation Network). TransMilenio consists of several interconnected BRT lines, with raised floor stations in the center of a main avenue, or "troncal". Passengers typically reach the stations via a bridge over the street. Usually four lanes down the center of the street are dedicated to bus traffic. The outer lanes allow express buses to bypass buses stopped at a station.

Users pay at the station entrance using a smart card, pass through a turnstile, and wait for buses inside the station, which is typically 5 m wide.[3] The bus and station doors open simultaneously, and passengers board by simply walking across the threshold. The elevated station platform and the bus floor are at the same height.

The buses are diesel-powered, purchased from such manufacturers as the Colombian-Brazilian company Marcopolo-Superior, German conglomerate Mercedes-Benz, and Swedish companies such as Volvo and Scania. The buses are articulated and have a capacity of 160 passengers. In May 2007, a new, larger bi-articulated bus, with capacity for 270 passengers, was presented to the public. TransMilenio buses are not equipped with transponders to give them priority at traffic signals; regret over this fact was voiced by former general manager of the system, Angelica Castro.[3]

As of the 4th trimester of 2018, 1,685 buses on average were circulating on the trunk line system. An additional set of 777[2] regular buses, known as "feeders" (alimentadores in Spanish), transport users from certain important stations to many different locations that the main route does not reach. Unlike the main TransMilenio buses, feeders operate without dedicated lanes, are not articulated and are green (regular TransMilenio buses are red). There is no additional fare to use the feeder buses.

Some main TransMilenio stations have bicycle parking facilities to facilitate cyclists using the system.

History

Before TransMilenio, Bogotá's mass transit "system" consisted of thousands of independently operated and uncoordinated mini buses. There was also a plan for a network of elevated highways throughout Bogota, and plans to build a subway as Medellín had done seven years prior. When Enrique Peñalosa was elected mayor he cancelled these projects and oversaw the construction of the initial TransMilenio system at a fraction of the cost.[4]

Within three years after the initiation of the project, the first phase opened in December 2000. A second phase has been completed, and a third is underway. Prior to construction, a 30 km trip by public transport would take 2 hours and 15 minutes in 1998; the same trip using TransMilenio now takes 55 minutes.[4]

The mayor created a special company to build the project and run the central system. The operational design of TransMilenio was undertaken by transport consultants Steer Davies Gleave with the financial structuring of the project led by Capitalcorp S.A., a local investment bank. Most of the money required to build TransMilenio was provided by the Colombian central government, while the city of Bogotá provided the remaining 30%.[5]

Other cities are building systems modeled on Transmilenio, for example, Mexico City,[6] and Transantiago in Santiago, Chile, but the difference is that in these cities the system is complemented with a Rapid transit system.

TransMilenio stations comply with easy access regulations because they are elevated and have ramps leading to the entrance. The alimentadores (feeders) are normal buses without handicapped accessibility. A lawsuit by disabled user Daniel Bermúdez caused a ruling that all feeder systems must comply with easy access regulations by 2004, but this has not happened yet.

2006 protests

On May 2 and 3, 2006, several groups of bus drivers not associated with TransMilenio held a strike, protesting against some elements and consequences of the system. They disagreed with the amount of monetary compensation that they would receive in exchange for the disposal of old buses (10 to more than 20 years old), traffic restrictions on the TransMilenio main lines, and a new Pico y Placa Ambiental in some city areas, that would restrict the schedules of buses older than 10 years to early morning hours to reduce pollution in the city.[7]

Some of the larger bus companies which participate in TransMilenio also retired their conventional bus lines during the strike.[8] Public transportation ground to a halt in much of the city. Although TransMilenio and a number of other buses continued operating, they could not cope with all of the demand. Acts of individual intimidation and violence against some private vehicles, TransMilenio and conventional buses occurred during the strike, as well as clashes between some of the strikers and the police.

Bogotá's Mayor Luis Eduardo Garzón rejected the strike, firmly defended all of the measures as necessary for the city's transportation future, and stated that he was only willing to discuss the specific details of their implementation, as well as a further democratization of TransMilenio's operations, after the situation calmed down. During the second and final day of the strike, the local administration, the strikers and their companies agreed to begin talks.

During the strike, some protests included users of TransMilenio who complained because the buses were passing at a very low frequency. Several stations became so filled up that some people fell from them into the street. Even after the strike ended, some TransMilenio passengers have subsequently protested because they still find aspects of the system to be inefficient and uncomfortable.

2012 protests

Due to the relatively high price, overcrowding, and delays in the routes hundreds of people mostly students protested and some vandals looted and broke windows on March 9, 2012, causing half a million dollars of damage and 11 injuries. The vandals were confronted and detained by riot police.[9]

Other Languages
català: TransMilenio
Deutsch: TransMilenio
español: TransMilenio
français: TransMilenio
Gàidhlig: TransMilenio
galego: TransMilenio
Bahasa Indonesia: TransMilenio
italiano: TransMilenio
日本語: TransMilenio
português: TransMilenio