The transport sector is one of the largest contributors to global GHG
emissions, both worldwide and in the Latin America region. In response,
some cities in Latin America are taking steps to revamp their transport
sectors as part of a strategy to mitigate GHG emissions. This Brief
begins by discussing the environmental impacts of the transport sector
before turning to three key Latin American transportation innovations:
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems; bicycle lanes; and electric taxis.
While stronger monitoring systems are still necessary, initial results
do point to important mitigation effects in the cities that are
implementing these new transportation options. Key contextual factors
and lessons learned are also presented to help cities in other regions
consider whether these types of innovations might work in their own
Although further research and evidence is required, preliminary results
show that BRT systems, cycle paths and electric taxis are all helping
Latin American cities to reduce GHG emissions.
The BRT system as implemented in Latin America has been shown to have
relatively low implementation costs and is easier to construct than
other large-scale mass transport systems. It may therefore be the more
feasible option for cities that are experiencing growth and expansion.
The combination of the BRT system with other energy efficient options
represents a significant opportunity for mitigating GHG emissions.
Examples from the Latin America region that illustrate this potential
include both the use of biofuels to power mass transport systems and the
simultaneous implemention of both BRT and cycle path systems.
Baptista, V. G. S. ELLA Policy Brief: Capitalising on Public Transport: Reducing GHG Emissions in Latin American Cities. ELLA, Practical Action Consulting, Lima, Peru (2013) 7 pp.