Bus rapid transit (Brt) and urban freight—competition for space in densely populated cities
Journal article, 2021

This paper assesses the effects on urban freight transportation of implementing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems. BRT systems have been widely implemented in Latin American cities in recent decades, with positive results driven by their high capacity and relatively low cost. Implementing BRT strategic corridors has led to changes in land use, and has required some restrictions on other urban traffic, particularly freight. These restrictions have significantly affected the supply of goods to establishments along those corridors, restricting freight operations and urban freight traffic in general. This paper studies the overall effects of BRT system implementation on urban freight using Cali (Colombia) as a representative case study to understand the origin and size of these impacts. Six key criteria were analyzed to assess the impacts of implementing a BRT system: 1. Mobility patterns; 2. environmental impacts; 3. infrastructure; 4. land-use; 5. legislation; and 6. geographic distribution. Observations and semi-structured interviews were used to complement hard data. The results from Cali show that the areas surrounding BRT corridors generate more than 62% of urban freight traffic. This concentration of freight activity has exacerbated the negative effects of restrictions that have accompanied BRT implementation and altered freight mobility and land-use patterns, not only locally but within the city centre, as well as suburban areas. In summary, the results show that post implementation, a significant share of freight-related externalities were amplified and transferred from BRT corridors to other parts of the city and to inter-regional corridors as well.

Sustainable urban transport

Urban freight transport

Complete streets

BRT systems


Paola Andrea Cruz-Daraviña

University of Los Andes

Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

Ivan Sanchez-Diaz

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics

Juan Pablo Bocarejo Suescún

University of Los Andes


20711050 (eISSN)

Vol. 13 12 6611

Subject Categories

Transport Systems and Logistics

Economic Geography

Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology



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7/5/2021 8