Curitiba is a city in Brazil with a population of 2 million. It provides a world model for how to integrate a sustainable transport and waste management scheme and has been awarded the UN’s highest award for its recycling scheme. In 1965 Curitiba produced a master plan to;
1 Encourage growth along transport routes
2 Establish industrial zones
3 Encourage the community to be self-sufficient by providing them education, health care, recreation and parks
The plan had to be flexible enough to allow future developments within the traffic management and development of the city. Public transport was given the highest priority.
Curitiba decided against building an underground transport system as it was too expensive to build and running costs would be high. The only way forward was to develop an efficient transport system on the ground. The integrated bus transport system has five arteries which run out from the pedestrianised city centre. Along these arteries are direct routes which go directly to the suburbs, they travel on a two way bus only route. The express buses run along side the direct routes but the express buses stop at bus stops which link the suburbs together to avoid the city centre these are called inter district routes. The feeder buses link from the outskirts of the city to the express bus stops. The buses are painted in different colours so that they are easily identifiable.
Red - express bus
Grey – direct buses to the suburbs
Green – suburb buses link to red express buses
Orange – feeder bus from the outskirts link to the suburbs
There are 10 privately owned bus companies, the money collected from the transportation of passengers is combined together and managed by a quasi-public company, the bus companies are then paid on the distance they travel not the amount of passengers they carry, this system means that more area of the city is covered by public transport. The coverage of the city is so good that there is no need for a light railway. The transport system is fast and 500 times cheaper than other transport systems such as the tube/metro. There is no need for bus conductors as people pay at the tubular bus stops in advance and a one way on and off wide door design makes boarding on and off quicker. The biarticular buses used can carry up to 4000 passengers a day, 3000 more than a conventional bus. The average person only pays 10% of their income on travelling. The increase in passengers using the transport system means that 75% of commuters use the public transport cutting the congestion by 25%. Fuel consumption is 30% lower than other similar sized cities.