Transmilenio Expansion Means Better Bogotá

Each day, almost 2 million people pass through turnstiles on a platform, their means to getting to work, to lunch, to a shopping destination of their choice.

They are using the Transmilenio, the government-run rapid transit bus system that covers more than 70 miles in Bogotá. And it’s about to get bigger.

Plans are underway to build a two new Transmilenio lines.

It is precisely this type of investment in infrastructure that is making Bogotá one of the most livable cities in the Americas, perhaps even better than some of the major cities in the United States such as Dallas, Los Angeles and Miami, where public transportation is fleeting and traffic doesn’t discriminate during the daytime hours.

The first new line will run through the heart of the city, connecting Portal del Norte, the gateway to small towns and villages north of Bogotá, with Yomasa, a small town south of the capital along the highway to Villavicencio.

The line will run west along Calle 170 from the Autopista Norte before diving south along Avenida Carrera 72, which eventually becomes Avenida Boyaca, connecting with Highway 40, the road out of town to Villavicencio.

There will be 43 stops and inter-system connections with Avenida Villavicencio, Autopista Sur, Las Américas, Calle 26 and Calle 80.

Estimates show that the new line will cost 712 million pesos, or about $267,000 USD. It is scheduled to open next year.

The idea is to take pressure off the current nearby Transmilenio lines: the interconnected A, B and H lines, which run primarily along Avenida Caracas between Portal del Norte and Portal de Usme; and the intertwined C, E and G lines with Carrera 30 as its backbone.

Government officials believe the new line will carry 50,000 people per hour, half of whom now use the line along Avenida Caracas.

The other line is known as Conexión ALO. It will connect Calle 13 with Soacha, a small town southwest of Bogotá.

The 6.2-mile line will start at Calle 13 near Avenida Ciudad de Cali in southwest Bogotá and run more or less straight to Soacha.

transmilenio1Estimates show that the line will cost between 250 and 750 million pesos, or anywhere from about $94,000 to $281,000 USD. There is no timetable yet for its opening but feasibility studies should be done this year which will lead to decisions on design and construction.

This will also take pressure of the G line, which connects to the E and C lines.

Both new lines are a great investment.

Just wait until the Metro gets underway.

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