Bogota Travel Guide

Public Transport

Bogotá's growth has placed a strain on its roads and highways, but since 1998 significant efforts to upgrade the infrastructure have been undertaken. Private car ownership, despite being under 27%, forms a major part of the congestion, in addition to taxis, buses and commercial vehicles. Buses remain the main means of mass transit. There are two bus systems: the traditional system and the TransMilenio. The traditional system runs a variety of bus types, operated by several companies on normal streets and avenues: Bus (large buses), Buseta (medium size buses) and Colectivo (vans or minivans). The bigger buses were divided into two categories: Ejecutivo, which was originally to be a deluxe service and was not to carry standing passengers, and corriente or normal service. Since May 2008, all buses run as corriente services. Bogotá is a hub for domestic and international bus routes. The Bogotá terminal serves routes to most cities and towns in Colombia and is the largest in the country. There is international service to Ecuador, Perú and Venezuela.

The TransMilenio 'rapid transit system' was created during Enrique Peñalosa's mayoral term, and is a form of bus rapid transit that has been deployed as a measure to compensate for the lack of a subway or rail system. TransMilenio combines articulated buses that operate on dedicated bus roads (busways) and smaller buses (feeders) that operate in residential areas, bringing passengers to the main grid. TransMilenio's main routes are: Caracas Avenue, Northern Highway (Autopista Norte), 80th Street, Americas Avenue, Jiménez Avenue, and 30th Avenue (also referred to as Norte Quito Sur or N.Q.S. for short). Routes for Suba Avenue and Southern Highway (Autopista Sur), the southern leg of the 30th Avenue, were opened in April 2006. The third phase of the system will cover 7th Avenue, 10th Avenue, and 26th Street (or Avenida El Dorado). The system is planned to cover the entire city by 2030. Although the Transmilenio carries commuters to numerous corners of the city, it is more expensive than any public transport except taxis.

C$1400 during off-peak; however, a single ticket allows unlimited transfers until the passenger leaves the system, and passengers travel on feeder routes for free. Transmilenio does not yet cover some main routes, and buses are overcrowded.

Despite the city's chronic congestion, many of the ideas enacted during the Peñalosa years are regarded worldwide to be cost-effective, efficient and unique solutions. In addition to TransMilenio, the Peñalosa administration and voter-approved referenda helped to establish travel restrictions on cars with certain licence plate numbers during peak hours called Pico y placa; of Ciclovía on Sundays; a massive system ( as of 2013) of bicycle paths and segregated lanes called ciclorrutas; and the removal of thousands of parking spots in an attempt to make roads more pedestrian-friendly and discourage car use. Ciclorrutas is one of the most extensive dedicated bike path networks of any city in the world, with a total extension of . It extends from the north of the city, 170th Street, to the south, 27th Street, and from Monserrate on the east to the Bogotá River on the west. The ciclorruta was started by the 1995–1998 Antanas Mockus administration with a few kilometers, and considerably extended during the administration of Mayor Peñalosa with the development of a Bicycle Master Plan and the construction of hundreds of kilometers. Since the construction of the ciclorruta bicycle use in the city has increased.

Airports

Bogotá's principal airport is El Dorado International Airport, west of the city's downtown, at the end of Avenue El Dorado. Due to its central location in Colombia and in Latin America, it is a hub for domestic and international airlines. Currently the national airport has begun to take more responsibility due to the congestion at the international airport.

El Dorado is heavily congested, as it handles more passengers than its optimal capacity. Work on a major expansion of El Dorado airport started in September 2007 and finished in 2012. Further work will continue to demolish the old terminal, improve access to runways and constructing a new control tower. When completed, this will expand capacity from the current 8 million passengers a year to 25 million.

A secondary airport, Catam (Military Transport Air Command (Colombian Air Force)), serves as a base for Military and Police Aviation. This airport, which uses the runways of El Dorado will eventually move to Madrid, a nearby town in the region of Cundinamarca, leaving further space to expand El Dorado.

Guaymaral Airport is another small airport located in the northern boundaries of Bogota. It is used mainly for private aviation activities.

Urban and suburban railways


source: Wikipedia

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