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CONCLUSION it easier to develop the second BRT corridor, as the operators knew what to expect. This mission provided a window into various Santiago had a different experience with labor approaches to transit service planning and delivery upon opening the Transantiago system. Bus opera- taken by four cities in South America. Each location tors were employees of the concession companies had unique challenges in managing increasing tran- who were under contract to Transantiago. In Santi- sit ridership demand as an important method of ago, bus operators were initially overwhelmed by addressing urban growth and mobility problems. the great number of new passengers, and they had a lack of knowledge as to how the new routes and Government, Political, and Labor Influences schedules worked. Some of the concessionaires pro- vided little or no street supervision, especially dur- Government and political influence varied greatly. ing late evening hours, and some service was not In Guayaquil, the city's mayor was the agent for over- operated as scheduled because the operator simply all change, as he personally supported BRT as the chose not to. More direct supervision and better solution to traffic congestion and other problems in route and schedule information for bus operators has the city. The mayor was seen as a hero for transform- improved the situation. ing the bus system, which contributed to the city's Buenos Aires's Metrovias subway system has a significant economic progress. long history of labor unrest. This became evident Santiago has a more limited role for local gov- during the mission when there was a one-day strike ernment, and transit planning was often influenced over an issue that management had no control over. by politicians at the federal level. Santiago's experi- Organized labor sought to get the attention of the ence with the rushed implementation of Transanti- federal government, not the concessionaire (Metro- ago is a cautionary tale of how the image of transit vias). The role of organized labor is also evident in can be damaged when a new system is opened before that efficiencies such as fare vending machines and it is fully ready. When the system failed because not elimination of conductors (guards) on trains has all necessary elements were in place on opening day, been successfully blocked by the unions. the leadership of the city and of Transantiago stepped In Porto Alegre, the role of labor is less pro- up to devise and implement improvements to quickly nounced, yet there are indications that protecting address the problems. jobs, even for an outdated function, has been deemed Buenos Aires provided an example of a subway important. One indication is the continuing use of system where the infrastructure was primarily owned conductors onboard the buses, despite 85% of fare by the city and managed by a concessionaire, but transactions being electronic. Another indication where the true decision-making takes place at the fed- is the degree of manual operation of some elements eral level. The federal government is also involved in of the electronic fare collection, where passengers bus services in Buenos Aires, issuing the permits/ must travel to a central downtown office to add franchises for each set of routes and determining funds to their farecards. performance standards, such as the maximum age of equipment and minimum headways. Porto Alegre is perhaps more similar to Transit Delivery Systems Guayaquil, where decision-making is primarily at the The use of private-sector companies at various local level, with a bit more influence from state and levels of each operation (i.e., for fare collection federal government than in Guayaquil. services, fleet maintenance, service delivery, and In Guayaquil, the publicly sponsored Metrovia quality control and assurance) seems fundamental system was very careful to bring the owner-operators in each city as a means of improving efficiency and of the privately run collective services into the new accountability. organization. While initially perceived as a threat to In Guayaquil, all operations are outsourced by the the private operators, Metrovia succeeded in making Foundation--biases are thus minimized when regu- the private operators stakeholders in the new sys- lating performance. The pure structure of the Foun- tem, thus mitigating the perceived threat. Having the dation has allowed Metrovia to gain and maintain the private operators become part of the new system made trust of all involved parties, including customers, the 23

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government, financial institutions, and bus operators. share in the operation of the subway, and 60% of oper- Their ability to maintain honesty and objectivity is ating costs are provided by federal subsidies. This directly linked to their effectiveness as the system investment has resulted in labor unions bypassing manager and to the successful operations of the the Metrovias management and going directly to Guayaquil system. the federal government when they have an issue The Metrovia BRT system has proved a worth- about work rules or conditions. The role of Metro- while investment for the city of Guayaquil. The vias staff has transitioned from a management con- original objective to improve service was met; travel cession to one of making sure the service runs every times have been reduced, the number of accidents day. System improvements and extensions are sub- involving buses has decreased, security has increased, ject to the approval of and funding from an annual fares are affordable, buses are newer, the transit infra- capital improvement program, rather than a long- structure is more cohesive, and customer service has term planning process. improved. There is a very high level of public accep- Bus services in Buenos Aires are still dispersed tance of Metrovia, and the public has given Metrovia among a number of private operating companies that very high marks for its efforts to improve the quality often compete with one another along major corri- of life in the city. dors. There has not been a demonstrated need to The new system brought higher than expected change operations from the private sector to the pub- benefits to the bus operators--better legal and finan- lic sector, as was done in Guayaquil and Santiago, cial guarantees, employment security, and continued because the current bus operators are providing an enterprise opportunities with more organized and adequate level of service due to the requirements of profitable businesses. The overall result was an the permit/franchise program imposed by the federal improvement in the quality of life for all. government. The Metrovia BRT stations and terminals were Argentina, and Buenos Aires in particular, has designed for future levels of demand, not just what experienced much in the way of economic uncer- was expected as each element of the system opened. tainty. A well-intentioned plan to improve the over- Service currently operates on 5- to 10-min headways, all quality of transit service to the community has not but the availability of dedicated lanes means that worked as well as expected. However, the structure greater frequencies could be achieved without hav- in Buenos Aires provided a significant improvement ing to expand infrastructure. Stations and terminals in organization and modernization that directly ben- were also designed to accommodate greater volumes efited the customer. By combining private and pub- of passengers without any modifications. lic resources and assets, it created a better system of Metrovia has opened up new economic opportu- public transit. nities for many residents and has reduced travel times, The transit system in Porto Alegre is an example thereby improving quality of life. Urban revitalization of a successful PPP. Most interesting is that many of and economic development, although not a primary the players are the same as in the prior system, but goal, is clearly evident. Neighborhoods on the out- with stronger organization and oversight. The con- skirts of the city that previously had poor access to sortium concept has brought much needed discipline the center of the city now can reach the city center and control to the system without sacrificing indi- through the combined BRT and feeder network. The viduality, accountability, and responsibility. The fact Metrovia system has spurred economic development that the public operator, which was allowed to remain around its stations. New sidewalks, parks, and plazas and is a part of the team, is considered to be the best have been built, shopping and commercial areas have operator in South America, is a telling statement of emerged, and pedestrian walkways have been con- the achievement of this structure. structed to link the commercial areas to the stations. Porto Alegre has pursued an enhanced bus net- In Buenos Aires, one of the major challenges for work with BRT operations in many corridors as an the subway system is how to balance an aging infra- alternative to a large rail investment. While there is structure against not only increasing ridership, but rail service, it is limited to one corridor and only also an institutional framework that limits the system carries about 14% of the total transit ridership in the to merely attempting to maintain the status quo with city. Porto Alegre's bus network features a unique respect to capital investment, revenue streams, and partnership between a publicly owned operator and labor relations. The federal government has a large three private concessionaires to offer an integrated 24

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service to the entire metropolitan area. Because of Santiago introduced major changes in the city's Porto Alegre's prosperous economy, automobile own- bus system all at once, bringing about a major cul- ership and usage has been increasing, with the result tural change in how residents used public transporta- that between 2000 and 2004 the bus system lost tion. While any major change would be troubling ridership; a small percentage of the loss has been enough for riders, insufficient capacity together with regained since then. insufficient public information undermined the pub- An EPTC manager in Porto Alegre said, "We're lic's confidence in the new system. Many bus riders not interested in what's right; we're interested in turned to the highly regarded Santiago Metro instead, what's wrong," in reference to advanced technolog- immediately overwhelming the Metro and causing a ical tools that allow them to monitor all aspects of further erosion of public confidence in all modes of concessionaires' performance against prescribed public transportation. When the new electronic fare service standards. This method not only protects the collection system did not function properly, further quality of the product (e.g., on-time performance, adding to the chaos, the public's discontent got the standards of maintenance, driver hours, number of attention of the politicians, who decreed that steps security incidents, wait times at ticket sale outlets), had to be taken to turn the system around. Because of it also produces significant revenue. When conces- strategies developed by both the bus and rail systems, sionaires fail to meet agreed upon standards, they are public confidence has been regained. fined, and the revenue are used to fund the system. Equipment requirements were underestimated in Sophisticated technology for monitoring perfor- Santiago, and there were not enough exclusive bus mance and an intricate fines/penalty system were lanes to give the buses travel time advantages. Infor- common to all host cities. mation about the changes in the new system was not Mobility management is necessary to achieve available, the public was confused about how to use an integrated multimodal system, and it involves the system, and the bus drivers did not have an fare integration, coordinated service plans, and good understanding of new routes and transfer points. intermodal connections. In Porte Alegre, EPTC's In Santiago, accepting accountability for the mis- mission is transportation as mobility management. takes seemed to be the key to solving them. Prompt EPTC staff are focused on investing in and utilizing corrective action by the transit system and the city the whole transportation network to move people in addressed the deficiencies, leading to improvements in service and satisfaction. Passenger surveys con- a sustainable way, and it appears to be effective. They ducted since the system's inception in 2007 report have the power to regulate and enforce. The enforce- significant improvements in user satisfaction. ment enables EPTC to override self-serving inten- The Santiago Metro has also been able to recover tions. In contrast, many agencies in the United States from negative public perception as a result of its that have adopted policies to take on the role of a inability to handle crush loads of riders who were dis- mobility manager are not empowered by law to reg- placed by the unsatisfactory start-up of Transantiago. ulate and enforce. Through operational efficiencies, including skip-stop express service and short-turn trains, Metro was able Customer Experience and Perception to offer more service in the segments of its system with highest demand. Today, although Metro is still One indication of the success of the systems vis- busy, ridership can be better managed. Greater relia- ited on the mission is how well they are perceived by bility in the Transantiago bus system has resulted in the residents of each city. shifting some riders back to the bus system, relieving Overall, customer satisfaction is very high among some of the surge that Metro experienced. all four systems. In Guayaquil, customer support for The Buenos Aires subway operated by Metrovias the system largely developed because the Metrovia has a high degree of public support. Most residents BRT system is faster and safer than other modes of recognize that the subway only reaches a small per- transportation, including the private collective buses centage of the metropolitan area and that the system that it replaced. Residents also perceive Metrovia as is overcrowded, but the subway, the oldest on the con- rapid transit, not just a bus system, and therefore a tinent and one of the oldest in the world, is a source of source of pride for the city. Because the BRT service pride among residents. Improvements are slow in was implemented in phases, people had time to coming, as the subway and commuter rail system has become accustomed to the system. insufficient funds for expansion. 25

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Commuter rail services in Buenos Aires are oper- Electronic farecard systems have been adopted by ated by different concessionaires. The provision of all four cities with high acceptance among the travel- more modern equipment on the Urquiza commuter ing public. In Santiago the only method of fare pay- rail line (refurbished) and the San Martin commuter ment on the bus is by farecard, but the other cities, rail line (new and refurbished) is highly regarded by where riders can opt to pay in cash, have impressive the public and contributes to the positive public per- farecard usage rates (60% on the subway in Buenos ception of these lines. Aires and 85% for the bus system in Porto Alegre). In Porto Alegre, residents feel that the city has a Improvements in fare collection technology, modern and relatively efficient BRT network that has increased emphasis on the use of dedicated bus rights- evolved over time. In a manner similar to that in of-way (such as with BRT), and a growing reliance Guayaquil, the BRT system has been expanded grad- on intelligent transportation systems are additional ually, without any sudden and widespread changes to methods allowing cities to address the problem of residents' travel patterns. The positive perception of delivering more transit service with fewer financial public transit in Porto Alegre has been helped by resources in a safer and more reliable way. the investments that Carris, the major operator, has made in new low-floor and air-conditioned buses Service Optimization that also provide better ride quality and environ- In Porto Alegre, to make the bus system more mental benefits due to newer, cleaner engines. The attractive and to retain riders, the city and the transit reputation of Porto Alegre as a progressive city has also encouraged the use of public transit, providing operators have invested in infrastructure and tech- evidence that the residents are responding to envi- nology to make the buses more competitive with ronmental concerns. automobile travel. These improvements include new To counter security concerns and problems with buses with amenities such as low-floor boarding and fare evasion, armed security personnel are highly air conditioning, dedicated bus-only lanes as part of visible on these systems. BRT operations, better public information, electronic Fare structures that are easy to understand con- fare collection, and a camera-based traffic monitor- tribute to positive customer experience and support. ing system. There appears to be support for service that costs In Porto Alegre, the comonor platooning system more but that also provides a more comfortable ride allows for more bus service while reducing conges- for the passenger. tion. Passenger knowledge of how this system oper- Any changes to systems should be approached ates allows boarding times to be shortened, resulting with lots of careful planning and education cam- in increased service efficiency. paigns to inform both customers and employees of Increasing ridership seems to be easily accom- the upcoming changes. modated in systems with BRT corridors that operate in dedicated busways, with stations located in the cen- ter of the street. Additionally, safety is often ensured Technology and Service Optimization on these systems with attendants present to provide customer service. Technology Several systems provided multimodal stations, All four cities have introduced technology as a bus stations, or terminals that offer amenities useful means of better managing demand, whether by elec- to riders and allow for easy transfers between modes. tronic fare collection or by vehicle locator systems Examples of some amenities and alternate uses found based on a network of cameras and control centers in stations include retail businesses, restaurants, art that oversee traffic "hotspots." displays, gyms, and lending libraries. All of the cities visited used technology to enhance their operations. Guayaquil, Santiago, and Managing Increased Demand Porto Alegre use sophisticated camera surveillance with Limited Financial Resources systems and control centers to manage traffic opera- tions and maintain reliability in their bus operations. With limited resources and the challenges of The subway systems in Santiago and Buenos Aires being financially self sustaining through fare-box also use camera systems, but these are intended more recovery, there seemed to be an emphasis on meth- for safety and security. ods to speed up transit service and provide addi- 26

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tional capacity. Whether by reducing the time vehi- For the rail systems in Santiago and Buenos Aires, cles spend at stations and platforms with faster capital funding is constrained, in part, due to the rel- boarding techniques or applying traffic signal prior- atively high cost of rail cars and infrastructure. itization, each city recognized that increasing the Santiago has been fortunate to have a more modern overall speed of the transit mode was paramount to subway system, so the infrastructure is newer. As reducing cost and increasing capacity. noted earlier, Santiago has employed techniques Overall, funding for capital improvements in all such as short-turning trains during peak periods to four cities was very limited. In most cases, transit is provide more service over the most heavily used still expected to be funded solely from farebox rev- portions of the system. Buenos Aires has a much enue. While the bus systems in Guayaquil, Santiago, older system and has not implemented this tech- and Porto Alegre are able to purchase new vehicles nique due to a lack of turnback locations. Buenos using the revenue stream generated from fares, the rail Aires also has much older rolling stock on its sub- systems in Santiago and Buenos Aires face greater way, and on some lines, a limited number of cars capital funding challenges for expanding and renew- means that longer trains cannot be run to accommo- ing their capital elements date higher demand. Capital funding comes from the All three BRT systems have benefitted from the federal government, and competing interests at the local, state, or federal government guaranteeing the national level means funding for rail infrastructure bulk of the capital costs associated with BRT infra- renewal is limited. structure, such as dedicated lanes and station stops. A manager at EPTC in Porto Alegre used the Generally, federal or state government funding for expression "we operate on the edge of the blade" to public transit has been constrained by competing describe the challenge of providing transportation demands, not only from other cities, but also from services with little or no public subsidies. If rider- rural areas. In Guayaquil, external sources have ship, advertising revenue, or penalties and fines been used to secure funds for initial construction, decline, expenses must be adjusted immediately. including loans from the World Bank. When the federal government passes new laws One element that works in favor of the various regarding emissions or accessibility, fares and/or bus agencies funding equipment purchases out of rev- expenses must be adjusted to accommodate the result- enue is the comparatively low cost of an articulated ing increased costs. transit bus in Latin America. The transit agencies vis- In Guayaquil, despite the success of the Metro- ited by the study team reported being able to purchase via system, it remains unclear as to how quickly it an articulated bus for a significantly lower price than will be able to implement its full service plan. in the United States (approximately US$286,000). Although the city leaders would like to expand the It should be noted that buses used by these systems BRT system to ultimately include all seven lines as do not typically include amenities commonly found planned, securing funding is seen as a critical imped- in the United States, such as air conditioning and iment to future expansion. The first corridors were wheelchair lifts, and seats tend to be more modest. funded by loans from agencies such as the World While Guayaquil and Santiago use articulated buses Bank. It is not yet clear if the city will continue to extensively, they are less common in Porto Alegre. be eligible for those loans, and it lacks the capital The transit vehicles seemingly serve their pur- to expand the system on its own. Another concern pose and are extensively used; the replacement cycle is the renewal of the original infrastructure and tends to average 8 to 10 years, unlike the 12-year equipment. Although the vehicles are only 3 years year lifespan found in the United States. This means old, they are so intensively used that they may not fleets are renewed more often, requiring a greater last more than 6 or 7 years before they need to be dependence on farebox revenue. At the same time, replaced. Concern has been expressed that the rev- transit officials are very conscious as to their pas- enue stream from fares is not sufficient to allow the sengers' inability to afford higher fares. Renewing concessionaires to purchase new vehicles, and the bus fleets using farebox revenue has not generally city has stated that it will not fund the purchase of been a problem, except in Guayaquil, where renewal buses. The bus lanes, stations, and fare collection of the BRT fleet in the future is a concern, and fund- equipment are fairly new, but like any fixed guide- ing may be sought from outside sources, including way system, these elements will require renewal at the World Bank. some point in the future. 27