Bus Rapid Transit Implementation and Air Quality in Cali, Colombia

Authors: Irene Casas*, Louisiana Tech University, Elizabeth Delmelle, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Topics: Transportation Geography
Keywords: BRT, Cali-Colombia, air quality
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 2:35 PM / 4:15 PM
Room: Coolidge, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Cities around the world, particularly in developing countries are proposing Bus Rapid Transit Systems (BRT) as an alternative and/or complement to their transport solutions. These systems have as a potential benefit to improve environmental quality, including air quality, noise levels, and congestion; contingent upon performance and the type of vehicles used. Changes in air quality following BRT implementations have been identified in cities including but not limited to: Santiago de Chile – Chile, Mexico City – Mexico, Bogotá – Colombia, and Jakarta City – Indonesia. In this research the focus is on the city of Cali – Colombia where an implementation of a BRT promotional phase started on November 2008 followed by a formal operational first phase in March of 2009 with continued growth and infrastructural improvements to date. The goal is to determine if improvements to air quality have occurred as a result of BRT implementation through time, starting in 2010 and ending in 2017. Monthly air quality indicators for the study period are analyzed to determine if correlations exist with the addition of BRT routes and removal of traditional old buses. Results show the reported average air quality indicators do not seem to follow a decreasing pattern as the BRT system’s size expanded throughout the city. Further analysis is required to analyze if there are differences by contaminant and if the spatial pattern of air quality is associated with urban socioeconomic characterizations.

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