Princeton University Library Catalog

Democratizing Transportation: A comparative analysis of accessibility and Public Private Partnerships in Bogotá’s TransMilenio and Rio de Janeiro’s BRT Rio

Peraertz, Isabella [Browse]
Senior thesis
Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban [Browse]
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs [Browse]
Class year:
117 pages
Summary note:
The move to use Public Private Partnerships (PPP) for public infrastructure improvements in Latin America has represented a fairly recent shift in public service management and operations in Latin American cities. This shift has occurred almost simultaneously with a movement in cities like Bogotá and Rio de Janeiro to improve their public transportation systems to better serve the quality of life of people living in the city. By using the story of PPPs in Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems in Bogotá and Rio de Janeiro, this thesis aims to examine two layers: 1) how PPP contracts have informed the management and operations of the TransMilenio and BRT Rio; and 2) how the BRT systems have provided fair access to mobility for people in different socio-economic classes, and areas with different population densities. After this analysis, this thesis will provide policy recommendations for the best way to use PPP contracts to improve the management and operations of BRT systems and maximize accessibility in each city; expanding this view to other Latin American cities. Analytical methodologies in this thesis encompass legal framework and contractual analysis, a cost-benefit analysis and empirical data analysis for each city. The legal framework and contractual analysis is used to understand the goals of the city for public transportation, the city’s disposition toward private sector involvement in infrastructure, and the innerworkings of BRT system operations in either city. The cost-benefit analysis is oriented toward understanding the costs to the government and riders, how this measures up to the benefits offered to both, and the private sector’s role. Finally, the empirical data analysis is meant to understand how each system articulates accessibility to the BRT system given population density, socio-economic level and economic activity. Through the analysis conducted in this thesis, differences in PPPs relations in BRT systems can be distilled to differences in management styles. Rio de Janeiro’s decentralized and more flexible management style regarding the private sector leads to an environment in which the private sector is more involved in BRT Rio planning and implementation. In Bogotá’s case, its centralized and stricter management style implies that the municipal government will be the strongest stakeholder in TransMilenio planning and implementation. This thesis thus recommends an organizational framework for PPP management that ensures effective, but also aligned with municipal goals for BRT system in the Latin American region.