Original Post by Ingeniería UC
Last Friday took place the Forum: “Operational challenges of buses for New Alameda-Providencia”, the main street in Santiago of Chile. It was organized by the Centre of Excellence BRT and the Center for Sustainable Urban Development (CEDEUS). The appointment was at the Extension Center of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and it brought together more than 120 participants from academia, policy makers, local bus operators and other organizations.
The first block was opened by Professor Juan Carlos Muñoz (presentation), director of BRT CoE and CEDEUS, who explained the evolution of the process to design a corridor of 12 kilometers at the main street of Santiago. He pointed it out as a great opportunity, but also a big challenge to improve the current operational conditions of buses – since congestion not only affects bus speeds, but slow down Metro which has to operate with high occupancy. Therefore, he introduced the BRT systems as an attractive alternative because of its higher flexibility compared to subways and that they can be designed as open systems, allowing external buses to use the same infrastructure within their path.
First forum: “How to get 250 buses / hr and 23 km / hr in Alameda?”
The first forum’s panelists were Luis Antonio Lindau (presentation), Director of WRI Brazil Cidades Sustentáveis, and Jaime Gibson (presentation), Associate Professor at University de Chile. To answer the motivational question, both analyzed the feasibility from local infrastructure compared to other systems in the world. They concluded that for the central sections of the corridor it would be possible to reach speeds up to 20 km/hr, but for distant sections they could reach the proposed speed. At his conclusion Professor Gibson said “it is not so worrying that buses can’t reach 23km/hr as long as the cars are not going up to 40 and public transport provides a real alternative”.
Our book was launched in Santiago!
After the break, the second block started with the launch of the book “Restructuring Public Transport through Bus Rapid Transit”, the result of the first five years of research in our centre. The keynote speaker was Pedro Pablo Errazuriz, former Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, who highlighted the editing job, which allows the reading for a wide audience. Finally, he present his vision about future challenges in transport sector, such as autonomous driving buses and Information Technologies (IT) to provide a smarter system.
Second Forum: “Challenges for Mode Integration in Alameda-Providencia”
The second block was focused on the implementation of the future corridor. The exhibitors were Wagner Colombini (presentation), President of Logit Engenharia Advisory, Alejandro Tirachini (presentation), Associate Professor at the University of Chile and Carlos Melo, Technical Secretary of Strategy and Planning at DTPM. They talked about how to divide the public space between pedestrians, bicycles, cars, public transport and taxis. Also, the importance of quality stations as key aspects for the service, since they are the face to users, and how artistic concepts can be used just like it is in roads and railways infraestructure. Finally, they discussed about the necessity of integration between public transport and bicycles services, allowing increase the capillarity of the system.