5 Oct 17

Collective transport needed in Peru's growing economy

Implementing safe, efficient and sustainable means of collective transport is fundamental in Peru as its economy grows, not only to improve mobility but to help reduce poverty and boost the quality of life in cities.  

As individual motorized transport is growing due to the country's increasing average income, large-scale solutions are needed to balance out this growth and improve the overall competitiveness in Peruvian cities, the World Bank said in a study.

According to the country's latest national household survey in 2015, the use of motorized transport is still quite low compared to its Latin American counterparts. A total of 22% of households use bicycle as a main transport, followed by cars (9%), motorcycles (7.5%), and motorcycle taxi service mototaxi (5%).

In the city of Cusco, 46% of its residents mainly get from one place to another by walking, followed by public transport (29%), taxi (10%), and private car (3%).

Meanwhile in Lima, two of its main public transport systems have been seeing increases in passenger activity. While the number of riders on metro line No. 1 increased 32% in December 2015 to 10,300, the passenger count on its Metropolitano bus-rapid-transit (BRT) system increased 11.3% to 17,800 in the same comparison. 

For the bank, a national urban mobility program focused on developing sustainable multimodal public transport systems needs to be created.  Federal, state, and municipal governments must come together to create policies that integrate mass transit networks such as metros, urban trains and bus-rapid-transit (BRT) systems with non motorized transport such as cycling and walking.

For instance, Peru's autonomous electric train authority (AATE) should be strengthened to maximize its overall impact on metro networks and metropolitan transport authorities should be created in more fragmented areas of the country.

To support the agenda even further, other less traditional transport solutions could be implemented in urban areas such as car and bike sharing programs or shuttle services for community or corporate use.

Besides these solutions, the bank also noted that cities need to carry out urban renovation projects aimed at the overall densification of metropolitan areas to make the most of upcoming collective transport services. 

Simply put, for urban mobility to work best for everyone, land use planning must be aligned with transit and this is done by densifying housing, shopping, and business districts. 

Walking must be used for short distances, cycling for medium distances, and public transit for longer trips. Of course, the car is still necessary, but it could primarily be used for getting between cities or getting out of the metropolitan area you are in.

Authored by: Daniel Bland