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Buenos Aires Metrobus wins global recognition


The successful inner-city renewal initiative in Buenos Aires, Argentina has been awarded the International Transport Forum’s Transport Achievement Award. The Award will be presented to the Transport Authority of Buenos Aires on 1 June during the global summit of transport ministers in Leipzig, Germany.


Buenos Aires has over 3 million inhabitants and another 3 million commute into the city each day. As a result, traffic in the downtown area known as “Microcentro” frequently collapsed. Strangled by vehicle traffic, citizens came to see the Microcentro as a polluted, hostile environment.


To change this, the Transport Authority of Buenos Aires in co-operation with the national government of Argentina and local stakeholders implemented Argentina’s first comprehensive urban renewal programme in which the inner-city space was reconfigured hand-in-hand with the available mobility options.


At the heart of the renewal initiative is a pedestrian priority area complemented by a new metrobus corridor. A total of 86 blocks in the Microcentro are now restricted for cars and fitted with licence plate recognition technologies. Sidewalks were extended to create shared spaces, additional bicycle lanes and 29 new bicycle sharing stations were built. 

Simultaneously, a new metrobus corridor was created on the Avenida 9 de Julio, the major north-south thoroughfare adjoining the Microcentro. The Bus Rapid Transit provides high-capacity public transport as an alternative to car travel into the city centre.


As a result, the number of cars entering the Microcentro has dropped by almost 86%, from more than 15 000 to just over 2 121 every day. The metrobus 9 de Julio, used by 11 bus lines carrying 255 000 people every day, cuts average travel time along the three-kilometre corridor by 50% in peak hours. CO2 emissions from traffic have been cut by 5 612 tonnes per year.


More than 1 million pedestrians now roam the Microcentro every day. A total of 197 new businesses have opened. 52 of these are restaurants, which are now able to provide outdoor places in an urban environment that now offers a friendly setting for different activities. Rising real estate prices also reflect the improved liveability of the area. 

Photo source: www.buenosaires.gob.ar

Metrobus 9 de Julio has become a symbol of mobility policies in Argentina. The National Government is now expanding this solution to big cities around the country. In the past 16 months, 3 new corridors have been implemented in Santa Fe, Rosario and La Matanza –the most populated district in Argentina. The Minister of Transport will launch another 7 corridors in the following cities Tres de Febrero, Neuquén, Morón, Mar del Plata, Córdoba, Corrientes y Mendoza, in order to benefit 3 million people.


The Jury of the Transport Achievement Award praised the Metrobus 9 de Julio project as “a good example of an effective cooperative framework that brings together different transport stakeholders, including national government, the municipality and transport operators”. The Jury also noted that the project has a high potential to be reproduced elsewhere.


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