Traffic management in Curitiba
Curitiba is the capital of Parana State in the South East of Brazil, around 1000km from Rio de Janeiro.
Curitiba has had a huge population growth recently, and has suffered from the typical problems brought by this; Mass unemployment, transport congestion, lack of basic services and uncontrolled growth of squatter settlements.
Curitiba has developed a high quality of life for its inhabitants by prioritising people over cars.
Jamie Learner became mayor in 1971, until retiring in 2002; he planned to widen the city streets to cope with an increased amount of traffic. However he did the opposite, he paved the street and closed it to traffic. Boulevard de Flores has since spread this span to 50 blocks and there is now a mall in the street. Learner believes in participation of people in the life and development of the city, and that economic activity should not be separate from society.
Learner said that there are 3 main issues that faced society in the future “mobility, sustainability and identity”. By the 1970s, the population of Curitiba had grown massively in just 50 years, and was clogged with cars. The obvious solution was public transport; however the city didn’t have much money.
He decided to go with “simple” method and introduced a bus system to revolutionise transport in the city. This system features:
1. 5 main arterial traffic roads into and out of the city. These routes had a central bus lane that was totally dedicated to 2 directional public transport; not the car. This was to speed up the journey for commuters on the bus and boost the number of passengers per bus from 1000 to 2000 per day.
2. Triple articulated buses (bendy buses) further boosted the number of passengers per bus to 4000 per day and Learner claimed that this could move more people than a subway yet it is 100/200 times cheaper.
3. The buses are coloured according to their function; Red buses were express buses with fewer...