Concessions of busways to the private sector : the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Region experience
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Concessions of busways to the private sector : the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Region experience

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      The Sao Paulo Metropolitan Region (SPMR), with 8000 sq. km, has 16 million inhabitants spread irregularly over 39 individual municipalities which are dominated by the Sao Paulo Municipality (SPM) with 8.5 million inhabitants. With approximately 16,000 buses in the SPMR (of which 12,000 in the SPM), competition for urban road space between buses and road traffic is a daily struggle in Sao Paulo. While public buses are theoretically given preference through measures such as parking restraints along bus routes, the reality is that traffic policies which enhance bus flows are rare. As a result, buses are subject to the general traffic conditions that prevail throughout the arterial network in the area, which keep them from providing fast and reliable transport services. To alleviate this congestion problem, the government has instituted trunk-line bus corridors which consist of dedicated reserved bus lanes or segregated busways, coupled with systematic control of bus operations. At time of this paper’s writing, four trunk-line bus corridors had been implemented in the SPMR using government funding. To finance expansion of this program, tender documents for two bus corridors (one State and one Municipal) had been issued, defining rules for private concerns to bid for implementing and operating trunk-line services. Both establish that all expenditures necessary to implement each service, including those related to street system improvements and facilities (such as bus stop shelters), are to be borne by the winning private concern. Exclusive operating rights would then be granted for a period not shorter than that deemed necessary to allow the winning bidder to recoup their investment in items which, upon being completed, become public property. This paper discusses the basis planning and procedures for privatizing the bus corridors. This move is part of a greater "Corridor and Integration Terminals Program " of the Sao Paulo Municipality, which is an attempt to structure Sao Paulo's public transport network by optimizing the potential of the bus system, prioritizing its circulation through priority treatment and improvement of the existing road network. Figure, tables. (20 p.; 977kb)
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