Transport solutions for Latin America and Carribean

Increased urbanization and economic growth have resulted in congestion and pollution in Latin America and the Caribbean but alternative transportation solutions, financed by public-private partnerships (PPPs), can improve the quality of life and protect the environment, according to a new study.

According to Smart Mobility PPPs, the region now has the highest rate of urbanization in the developing world. This has led to many problems like overcrowded public transport, pollution, and increasingly longer commutes in both big and small cities –but has also spurred exploration of mobility alternatives.

From bikes and bus rapid transport systems to electric cars and traffic-tracking apps, countries in the region are implementing smart mobility solutions that are becoming increasingly popular. For instance, there are bike-sharing programs in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Uruguay. In addition, Latin America accounts for nearly two-thirds of the world’s bus rapid transport passengers.

Such smart mobility solutions often include the participation of both private businesses and government agencies through public-private partnerships, which are also used for financing large-scale initiatives such as metro systems and highways. In all, Latin America and the Caribbean account for 11 percent of global investment in PPPs.

The report notes that the most popular transportation-related PPPs involve private sector technology that could not otherwise be offered by the state, and those that promote green technologies. Some, like bike-sharing, while increasingly popular, still remain limited: In Bogota, the city with the highest percentage of bike users in the region, only 5 percent of daily trips are completed using this means of transportation.