Planning for the Bogota, Columbia Metro System

A multi-disciplinary team from the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs was assembled to provide expertise in the various areas of transportation planning. The scope of work includes providing seminars on transportation operations, planning, land use, environment, economic development, travel demand modeling and system integration to the faculty of UNC and interested stakeholders. In addition, the UIC team will provide consulting services and independent analysis of various phases of the planning effort. The relationship would be for a three-year period.

Principal Investigator(s):

P. S. Sriraj


Siim Soot
Joe DiJohn
Kazuya Kawamura
John Betancur
Kouros Mohammadian
P. S. Sriraj
Paul Metaxatos
Bruce Moffatt




The Urban Transportation Center was contacted by the Universidad Nationale de Columbia (UNC) to partner with them to assist in the planning for transit improvements in Bogota, the largest city in Columbia with over 7 million residents.

Bogota has an extensive bus rapid transit system (BRT) called TransMilenio, which serves many areas of the city on exclusive bus-only lanes. The system is composed of over 1,000 articulated buses operating on eight different routes. TransMilenio also provides free feeder service to the stations. Additional service is provided by privately- operated minibuses and taxis. The BRT system is at capacity on many routes and congestion from the thousands of minibuses and taxis is negatively impacting the socioeconomic and quality of life of the metropolitan area.


There are several proposals to address the transportation issues in the region. The Governor of the state has proposed a commuter rail system that would connect the central area with outlying satellite cities. The Mayor of the City of Bogota has proposed a Metro System composed of subways and surface light rail systems. TransMilenio also has plans for implementing a third phase of constructing additional BRT Lines. The federal government provides 70% of the capital funding and has a significant input into system design. The UNC has been asked by the federal government to provide independent consulting to the various parties with a grant from the World Bank. The Urban Transportation Center at UIC has been asked to participate as a consulting partner with the UNC to assist in the transportation planning effort.

Expected Results or Products:

UTC Director Siim Soot and METSI Director Joe DiJohn traveled to Bogota in June of 2010 at the invitation of the Dean of Engineering at UNC to give presentations on the capabilities and experience of the UTC and affiliated faculty and to tour the city’s transportation system. Meetings were held with UNC faculty and students, the Minister of Transport, the Governor, and the Mayor’s office. Several additional trips are planned when UIC faculty will travel to Bogota and present a series of transportation planning seminars for the UNC faculty.

NOTE: A report or paper from this research is not immediately available.


P.S. Sriraj
Urban Transportation Center
University of Illinois at Chicago
412 South Peoria Street, Suite 340
Chicago, IL 60607
Voice: (312) 413-7568
Fax: (312) 413-0006


Universidad Nationale de Columbia and World Bank