Mérida, Yucatán — A state-run bus reform begins in January, introducing the Integrated Urban Transport System, or Situr, to commuters.
The $250-million-peso program not only introduces new, modern buses to the streets, but establishes fewer bus stops, about 200-300 meters apart as opposed to 100 meters.
On some streets, a lane will be set aside for buses, and “intelligent” traffic lights will be installed at 100 intersections. A prepaid card for riders is also in the works.
Situr will be unveiled in four stages, beginning with 140 buses and seven color-coded bus routes in early January. Just over 1,000 bus stops will be established. The first routes will connect potentially 107,000 passengers, 12.5 percent of total riders, to high-profile destinations such as hospitals, shopping malls and schools.
The second stage of the program begins in the second half of 2015, expanding to six more routes serving 200,000 passengers on the Periférico, and the introduction of prepaid cards.
The third stage, in 2016, will expand eight more routes and integrate fares to facilitate transfers. The fourth and final stage, which has no timeline, will integrate the remaining routes and begin a digital information system with real-time information for riders.
Bus congestion is a common complaint in Mérida, where 647,000 people, 47 percent of the population, use public transportation daily.
Source: Press release