Tijuana BRT to be Launched by the End of 2016

Tijuana BRT to be Launched by the End of 2016 :The Mexican city of Tijuana is preparing to launch its Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system before the end of 2016. The old and inefficient public transport system will be replaced by the new Sistema Integral de Transporte de Tijuana (SITT) scheme.
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A new 37 km long Bus Rapid Transit Route 1 will run between new bus terminals located in downtown El Centro district and on Simón Bolívar Boulevard in the eastern part of the city, passing by the U.S. border and stopping in total at 51 stations.
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Every BRT station will be equipped with Passenger Information Systems displaying bus arrival times, Ticket Vending Machines, security cameras and fare gates at the entrance.

The installation of brand new fiber optic cables along the route will allow data to be exchanged with the Operations Centre and will also provide passengers with Internet connectivity thanks to free Wi-Fi.
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Buses will be air-conditioned and will also be equipped with passenger displays, security cameras and free Wi-Fi. They will run on natural gas, which is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than diesel or gasoline.

The expectation is that the new system will initially carry 120,000 passengers per day, increasing up to 250,000-300,000.

Passengers will pay use rechargeable smart cards and will pay less than 14 pesos for a single fare. They’ll also be able to transfer without additional costs to buses that feed into the system’s main trunk route, La Ruta Troncal.

The classic BRT concept has been applied in Tijuana, with some minor adjustments. Medium capacity feeder buses will serve the main districts, with articulated high capacity buses being used on the trunk route and on other major routes.
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Buses have made their first appearance on the streets, for the local residents to familiarize with. Mayor Jorge Astiazarán went on a city tour with some guests on 28 June 2016. He told the press: “We want people to stop using their cars”.

Up to today public transport in Tijuana has been provided by 14 private companies operating under a municipal concession. Over 3,000 old second-hand buses, mostly imported from the USA, provide uncomfortable and inefficient travel.

Ten of the existing bus companies have now agreed to join forces in a consortium that will operate a 30 year concession to operate the new SITT system. Key to success in the last year has been the strategy of workign with the current bus companies and not with foreign ones.

According to SITT Director Alonso Lopez Sepulveda the new BRT system “will transform the city.”

With a population of 1,700,000 Tijuana is the largest city on the Baja California Peninsula and center of the Tijuana metropolitan area, one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in Mexico.

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Writer: John Carlo Ottaviani

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