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Revista de Ingeniería

versión impresa ISSN 0121-4993


HIDALGO, Darío. Comparison between Alternatives of Public Transport - A Conceptual Approach. [online]. 2005, n.21, pp.94-105. ISSN 0121-4993.

An indicative evaluation of mass transit alternatives demonstrates that it is only convenient to introduce rail technology (Metro) when demand exceeds 40,000 passengers per hour per direction. A cost/benefit analysis indicates that it is necessary to go beyond the construction of bus lanes and the acquisition of new fleet; it is imperative to manage the operations through the implementation of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems. The analysis yields higher socioeconomic and practical benefits for BRT than other alternatives, for a wide range of cost and benefit parameters, using Montecarlo Simulation. The exercise confirms several evaluations that suggest that Bogotá adopted the right choice with the introduction of a BRT rather than busways, light or heavy rail. It also shows that the city suffered large losses as a result of not making any decision for many years, as the worst alternative is maintaining the Status Quo. In the future, it will be worthy to evaluate fully segregated rail transit (Metro) implementation when the demand conditions reach the right levels; nevertheless it will be a misstep to introduce a partially segregated rail transit (Light Rail) or plain Bus Lanes.

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