The city of Curitiba provides the world with a model in how
integrate sustainable transport considerations into
business development, road infrastructure development,
and local community development.
Curitiba first outlined its
Master Plan in 1965, with the main
goals of limiting central area growth and encouraging commercial
and service sector growth along two structural north-south transport
arteries, radiating out from the city center. The Master Plan also
aimed to provide economic support for urban development through the
establishment of industrial zones and to encourage local community
self-sufficiency by providing all city districts with adequate
education, health care, recreation, and park areas.
The plan called for the integration
of traffic management, transportation, and land-use planning to
achieve its goals, and maintained flexibility in its regulations to
allow for different future development scenarios.
The Master Plan established the guiding principle that mobility and
land use can not be disassociated with each other if the city's
future design is to succeed.
In order to fulfill the goals of the
Master Plan in providing access for all citizens, the main
transport arteries were
modified over time to give public transport the highest priority.
Each of the five arteries contains one two-way lane devoted
exclusively to express buses. This inner lane is flanked on either
side by 1) a local access lane for cars and 2) a high-capacity
one-way route for use by both cars and buses. Separating traffic
types and establishing exclusive bus lanes on the city's predominant
arteries helped to mold two defining characteristics of the city's
transport system: a safe, reliable, and efficient bus service
operating without the hazards and delays inherent to mixed-traffic
bus service; and densification of development along the bus routes.
About 1,100 buses make 12,500 trips per day,
serving 1.3 million passengers. Five different types of buses operate
Express buses operate exclusively on
the arteries' dedicated busways.
- "Rapid" buses
operate on both the arteries and on other main streets throughout
the city, and their routes are changed to respond to demand.
These buses stop at tube-shaped
stations designed for protection from the weather and for quick bus
entry and exit. They also accommodate the handicapped.
A new "bi-articulated" bus, introduced in
December, 1992, is a form of rapid bus operating on the outside
high-capacity lanes. Bi-articulated buses - the largest in the world -
are actually three buses
attached by two articulations, and are capable of carrying 270
"Inter-district" buses bring passengers between the city's
sectors lying between the arteries, and thus provide a crucial link
between the routes of the express and bi-articulated buses.
- Finally, "feeder" buses mix with traffic on all other city
streets and bring passengers to transfer stations called "District
Terminals," around which local urban development and commercial
activity has flourished.
Curitiba's buses are privately-owned by ten companies, managed by a
quasi-public company. With this public-private collaboration,
public sector concerns (e.g. safety, accessibility, and efficiency)
are combined private sector goals (e.g. low maintenance and operating
costs). The bus companies receive no subsidies; instead all mass
transit money collected goes to a fund and companies are paid on a
distance travelled basis.