Buenos Aires expands BRT system with two new major corridors

Editor's Note: This post has also been translated into Spanish. Click here to download the Spanish version.

These are exciting times in Buenos Aires for public transit. With two major Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors currently under construction, and one already complete, this C40 city is taking sustainable public transport to the next level.

The Juan B. Justo BRT corridor, which has been fully operational since May 2011, is a prime example of how BRT can turn a good bus service into a great one. The two new corridors, scheduled for completion in the latter half of 2013, will complement the city’s subway system and enhance the functionality of the Juan B. Justo.

According to Andrés Fingeret, C40’s BRT Network Director, the development of the Julio 9 BRT — named after the famous Av. Julio 9 — is particularly important because it sends a clear message that public transport matters in Buenos Aires. This route will bypass the congestion and chaos of Av. Julio 9, often referred to as the widest street in the world, by operating in its own private corridor. 

An estimated 200,000 passengers per day will benefit from this 3-kilometer corridor, due to open at the end of July. The Julio 9 is also expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 5,612 tons each year. The project is part of the Pedestrian Priority Plan, which targets 105 blocks of the city. City officials hope the Julio 9 BRT corridor will improve the use of public space in the avenue and its catchment area by giving a more human scale to an area where millions of people pass every day.

The third corridor, Metrobus Sur, is the final one to be completed this year and will be much longer than its predecessors, spanning 22 kilometers with 32 stations and two branches. It will service eight neighborhoods and 250,000 passengers, and will reduce commute times by about 20 percent.

Together these three Metrobus corridors — totaling 37 kilometers in length — will greatly reduce commute times across Buenos Aires, help increase the interconnectedness of the city, and promote public transit, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Buenos Aires Metrobus expansions demonstrate the benefits a city can reap when it prioritizes public transit, according to Fingeret, an option more cities need to consider.

Background Information: BRT Corridor Breakdown

The Juan B. Justo Avenue Experience

  • Route: Liniers - Pacifico
  • Extension: 12km
  • 21 stations
  • 40 percent of users commute the whole extension of the route
  • Actual demand: 100,000 passengers
  • Estimated demand increase: 30 percent
  • Estimated commuting time reduction: 40 percent. Each passenger saves 44 minutes per day, which accounts for 7 days a year. 
  • 2 minutes frequency 
  • 20 percent reduction in fuel use. With bus stops within 400 metres of each other, a larger distance than before, acceleration and stopping are reduced, diminishing combustion factors and the subsequent gas emissions, improving air quality. 
  • Interchange with rail (Sarmiento and San Martin), underground (lines B and D) and Pacifico bike sharing station 
  • Overall, there are seven bus lines that use the Metrobus bus lane: line 166 for the whole extension, line 34 for almost the whole extension, and lines 53, 99, 109, 110 and 172 for part of the extension.

Metrobus Sur - under construction

  • Interchange Puente La Noria with Constitucion transport hub
  • 2 branches: General Roca and Fernandez de la Cruz
  • Extension: 22km
  • 32 stations
  • 250,000 passengers per day
  • 21 bus lines to benefit from the Metrobus lane
  • 20 percent commute time reduction
  • 8 neighborhoods benefited by the project: Villa Riachuelo, Villa Soldati, Villa Lugano, Nueva Pompeya, Parque Patricios, Boedo, San Cristóbal, and Constitución.

Metrobus 9 de Julio - under construction

  • Interchange between Constitucion, Obelisco and Retiro transport hubsExtension: 3km
  • 5 stations
  • 200,000 passengers to benefit from the project
  • 10 bus lines to benefit from the project
  • More than a 50 percent reduction in commute time
  • Estimated GGE reduction of 5,612 CO2 tons year equivalent. 
  • Real time information technology and Wi-Fi service

Brt Buenos Aires Rendering

Artist's renderings of the future Metrobus 9 de Julio.

Brt Buenos Aires Rendering 2