Transportation

transmilenioTransMilenio stations

Bogotá's huge growth has placed a strain on its roads and highways and within the past decade significant efforts to upgrade the infrastructure have been undertaken. Private cars, despite representing less than 27% of total, are a major reason for traffic congestion, and are in addition to taxis, buses and commercial vehicles. Buses remain the main means of mass transit. There are two bus systems: the traditional bus system, and the TransMilenio. The traditional bus system runs a variety of bus types, operated by several companies on normal streets and avenues, and consist of: Bus (large buses), Buseta (medium size buses) and Colectivo service (vans or minivans). The larger buses are divided into two categories: Ejecutivo, originally deluxe service not to carry standing passengers, and Corriente or normal service. Since May 2008, all buses run as corriente service. Bogotá is a hub for domestic and international bus routes and the Bogotá terminal serves routes to most cities and towns in Colombia and is the largest in the country. There is also international bus service to Ecuador, Perú and Venezuela.

The TransMilenio rapid transit system, created during Mayor Enrique Peñalosa's term, is a form of rapid transit bus service which has been deployed to compensate for the lack of a subway or rail system.

transportationTransMilenio service, combines articulated buses which operate on dedicated bus roadways (busways) and smaller buses (feeders) that operate in residential areas, bringing passengers to the main grid. Main routes include: Caracas Avenue, 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 Autopista Sur, the southern leg of the 30th Avenue, were opened in April 2006, and the third phase of the system will cover Carrera Septima, Carrera Decima and Calle 26 - Avenida El Dorad. The TransMilenio system is scheduled to cover the entire city by 2030. Although it carries commuters to virtually every corner of the city, it is less expensive than other public transport, however fare increases are subject to increases in petroleum prices. As of July 2009 the price of a ticket was 1500 pesos (about 75 cents US), a single fare allowing unlimited transfers until the passenger leaves the system. Note: passengers can travel on feeder routes free of charge.

busDespite the city's chronic congestion, many of the ideas enacted during Mayor Peñalosa's years are regarded worldwide as cost-effective, efficient and unique solutions. In addition to TransMilenio, the Peñalosa administration helped to establish driving restrictions on cars ending in certain licence plate numbers from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm twice weekly (Monday to Friday) known as "Pico y Placa". In addition is a car free day once a year at the beginning of February. A massive system of bicycle paths and segregated lanes called ciclorrutas; and the removal of thousands of parking spots, all in an attempt to make roads more pedestrian-friendly. Ciclorrutas is one of the most extensive dedicated bike path networks of any city in the world, with a total extension of over 300 km. extending from 170th street in the north, to 27th street in the south, and from Monserrate in the east to the Bogotá River on the west. Ciclorruta was started by Mayor Antanas Mockus' administration (1995-1998) , and was extended considerably during the administration of Mayor Peñalosa. Since the construction of the ciclorruta, bicycle use in the city has increased dramatically.

Airports

Bogotá's main airport, El Dorado International, is located west of the city's downtown at the end of Avenue El Dorado. Due to its central location in Colombia and in Latin America, El Dorado is a hub for domestic as well as international airlines.

El Dorado is heavily congested, as it handles more passengers than its originally designed capacity. A major expansion of the airport started in September 2007 and when complete, capacity will have been expanded from the current 8 million to 25 million passengers a year.

A secondary air terminal in El Dorado - Catam, serves Military and Police Aviation. This is in addition to Guaymaral Airport, just north of the city, which is primarily for private aviation activity.