(Photo: Metrobus in Mexico city. By World Resources Institute.) With the goal of improving public transit in the city, Buenos Aires could have its first bus rapid transit system, also referred to as 'Metrobus', in May 2009.
The announcement was done by the Buenos Aires Transportation Secretariat after the government had to recognize they wouldn't be able to accomplish the expansion of the subway network, as they had promised during the election campaign last year. The project is in advanced state and is only waiting for the mayor's signature.
At the same time, the Metrobus project is supposed to be one of the measures Curitiba's former mayor, Jaime Lerner, suggested to Buenos Aires mayor when he was in the city for a conference last July.
More on both the project and Lerner's influence in Buenos Aires after the jump.Buenos Aires Public Transport Background
Even though the capital of Argentina is lucky to have a vast network of buses (at least 164 lines, most of them running 24/7), public transit tends to become a chaos in the city at rush hours. One of the causes is that buses don't have exclusive lanes and have stops every two blocks, which slows down traffic for taxis, cars and other buses.
Subways in Buenos Aires are useful if you live in the right area and use certain stretches, as the four of the five lines run like an open hand from the south of the city, making the lines and connecting stations crowded.
A graphic showing the subway lines in Buenos Aires.
Still, most people in the city and from the suburbs move around in public transport and one of Buenos Aires main challenges was to make its streets tidier. That's why during the election campaign for new mayor last year, one of the promises of candidate Mauricio Macri was to extend the subway network with new lines to take the pressure out of buses.
But last week, the now mayor Macri had to accept they wouldn't be able to do it, alleging lack of support from the national government. A week later, the Transportation Secretariat announced a Metrobus project, due to open in May 2009.