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TransMilenio - Heroes station | by Jorge Lascar
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TransMilenio - Heroes station

The TransMilenio is a bus rapid transit system that serves Bogotá, Colombia. As of November 2005, the TransMilenio runs throughout the whole city, covering Av. Caracas, Calle 80, Autopista Norte, Av. Jiménez, NQS ("Norte Quito Sur"), Calle 13, Av. de las Amricas, and Av. Suba. The system opened to the public on December 2000. Based on the successful model used in Curitiba, Brazil, the TransMilenio consists of numerous elevated stations in the center of a main avenue, or "troncal". Users pay at the station and await the arrival of the bus, whose doors open at the same time as the sliding glass doors of the station. A Dedicated lane on each side of the station allows express buses to pass through without stopping while other buses stop to allow passengers in or out. In order to guarantee the new model's success, the District government hired first-rate consultants. International consulting firm McKinsey & Co. was hired as project manager and leading local investment bank Capitalcorp S.A. was assigned the financial structuring of the project. The buses are diesel-powered, purchased from such manufacturers as the Brazilian company Marcopolo and German conglomerate Mercedes-Benz. The buses are articulated (split into two sections with an accordion-like rotating middle to allow for sharp turns) and have a capacity of 150 passengers. As of November 2005, the fare was 1300 Colombian pesos for a single trip (about EUR 0.40 or USD 0.50). Cards use a contactless smart card (MIFARE) system, and it is possible to purchase multiple trips for one card. Most users are distrustful and purchase only one or two trips at a time, due to problems with the cards at the launch of the system. Although the technical problems have been fixed, there are no financial incentives (discounts) for multiple purchases or public education campaigns (as have been recommended by urban planning consultants). An additional set of regular buses, known as "feeders" (alimentadores, in Spanish), transport users from certain important stations to many different locations that the main route does not reach. Unlike the main TransMilenio buses, feeders operate without dedicated lanes, are not articulated and are green (regular TransMilenio buses are red). There is no additional fare in order to use the feeder buses. Although TransMilenio stations comply with easy access regulations by virtue of being elevated and having ramps leading to the entrance, the alimentadores are normal buses without handicapped accessibility. A lawsuit by disabled user Daniel Bermdez caused a ruling that all feeder systems must comply with easy access regulations by 2004, but this has yet to occur. []

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Uploaded on May 6, 2010