Public Interest Transportation Forum -

Innovative South American Mayor Developed a Notable Bus Rapid Transit System as an Alternative to a Subway Train

The Cascadia Center of Discovery Institute brought Dr. Enrique Peņalosa, former Mayor of Bogota, Colombia and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP), to a Seattle Forum on September 27, 2006 titled, "A New Vision for Developing Transit for Livable Cities." 

The event was video recorded by the Seattle City Government TV channel and is available now in streaming video. 

The presentation was also covered in a story by Mike Lindblom in The Seattle Times.

Mayor Peņalosa developed the Transmilenio Bus Rapid Transit system that as of 2006 carries over one million riders per day, and is being gradually expanded to cover the entire city of Bogota.  The Mayor chose this system because it would provide more geographic coverage for less money than a rail system, yet offer just as much capacity and comfort.

The event was co-sponsored by ITDP and Breakthrough Technologies Institute.  BTI prepared the following comparison of how much bus coverage could be provided in Bogota for the cost of a short subway line.


On September 28th, Dr. Peņalosa was interviewed by Steve Scher of National Public Radio affiliate KUOW, where many of the points covered in the previous day's Forum were described again.  Audio recordings of this session are available at

Mayor Peņalosa's presentations also covered achievements in pedestrian and bicycle mobility for Bogota.

Hot Links to Useful Further Information:


Access to Peter Midgley's report on Bus Rapid Transit development around the world (3rd presentation).


Access to report on Bogota's Transmilenio system from a U.S. DOT study trip (look near bottom of page)


Transmilenio Historical Information (website in Colombia, in English)


Transmilenio system routes map on Bogota website


Presentation made by Enrique Peņalosa at Railvolution Conference in 2005 (go to bottom of page)


Online pictures of Transmilenio buses and stations, as revealed by Google image searching.

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Last modified: February 07, 2011