Position Papers
Michael King and Lloyd Wright
NelsonNygaard Consulting Associates, NY (USA)
Published in
Submitted by
Peter Midgley, gTKP
Related theme(s)
Urban Mobility
All Regions

Safe Routes to Transit in Developing Cities

Poor quality pedestrian infrastructure and inadequate transit services have led to the continued loss of mode share for walking and public transit trips in developing-nation cities. However, the success of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems in cities such as Bogotá (Colombia) and Curitiba (Brazil) has shown that such trends can be reversed. This research highlights the nexus of high-quality pedestrian access and BRT systems as a mechanism to preserve the viability of public transport in developing cities. Specifically, the research presents:

  • A discussion of walking conditions at transit stations
  • Infrastructure options for ensuring safe access to transit
  • Methodologies for mapping pedestrian movements
  • Key elements of pedestrian safety, including vehicle speeds, exposure risk, driver and pedestrian predictability, and vehicle volumes
  • Best and worst practices from cities in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

The rapid increase in BRT development across the developing world provides a unique opportunity to improve the overall situation for pedestrians. The condition of the walking environment to and from BRT stations will ultimately determine the viability of the BRT system to draw a sufficient customer base. The investment towards BRT and the changes in street infrastructure can provide an impetus for area-wide improvements.

The research presented is based upon a new initiative sponsored by the Hewlett Foundation and the Global Environment Facility in order to enhance walking and public transit trips in developing-nation cities.