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Bikes beat other transport modes by 13 minutes

By 8 enero, 2015 No Comments

2014 proved again what has been shown year after year: bikes are the fastest way to travel in Bogotá


Bikes once again proved themselves to be the fastest vehicle in the city, although this time with different routes all converging at a central destination.

Despacio promotes the Slow lifestyle through a range of activities. As part of the 7th annual Bicycle Week, we organized a race among different transport modes during rush hour to discover which was most efficient. Various international tests have shown that the bicycle, despite moving the slowest, actually arrives quickest, due to its efficiency at distances under 10 kilometers. This exercise has been conducted in a number of cities including New York, Sao Paulo and Bogota.

The race was between SITP (new public buses), Transmilenio (BRT), a dual-use bus, a car, a bicycle (and for the first time) a multimodal bike/transit combination. The race took place on Monday November 10, 2014 during the evening rush period. There were two departure points and one destination, with about 7 kilometers between origin and destination (the average trip distance in the city).

The departure points were the Luis Ángel Arango library on Calle 11 with Carrera 4 and the Bogota Chamber of Commerce in Salitre, on Calle 26 with Carrera 68D. The race ended at the Lourdes Church on Calle 63 with Carrera 13. The competitors left at 5:40 PM and as expected, the bicycle won, taking 17 minutes from Salitre and 22 minutes from the library.

Detailed description of the different participating modes

Detailed description of the different participating modes

The biggest loser was Transmilenio, taking 55 minutes from Salitre and 45 from the library. The SITP trip leaving from Salitre was reasonable, taking only 32 minutes with a transfer. The car had disparate results, taking 20 minutes from Salitre (second place) but 49 minutes from the library (last place). The multimodal trip had similar results, taking 45 minutes from Salitre (second-to-last place) and 35 minutes from the library (second place).

One of the conclusions of this race is that the bicycle is without a doubt a viable means of transport in Bogotá, in terms of trip time, cost, and reliability. Multimodal trips do not seem like a good option for trips under 7, or even 10, kilometers. It is worth investigating whether they are worthwhile for longer trips. Transmilenio, despite having an exclusive lane, is not efficient time-wise, and was the big loser of the race.

Despacio thanks all the competitors:

Dilia Lucia Prieto, member of the Chiks Bikes collective went by bike from the Luis Ángel Arango library. David Garcia, member of Chiks Bikes rode from Salitre. César Criollo, road safety engineer from the District Secretariat of Mobility, did the intermodal trip from the library while Jesús David Acero, coordinator of the Comprehensive Mobility Plan at the Universidad Nacional and member of the non-motorized transport team at the Secretariat of Mobility did the intermodal trip from Salitre. José Segundo López, Despacio’s engineer, took Transmilenio from the library while Nathalie Rodas, consultant for the Special Environmental Unit at the Ministry of Transport, did the same from Salitre. Natalia Tinjacá, senior director of Urban Management and Mobility at the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce took SITP from Salitre. Plinio Alejandro Bernal, director of that group at the Chamber of Commerce, drove from Salitre, and Patricia Calderón, Despacio’s strategic director, drove from the library.

The Salitre group

The Salitre group

The library group

The library group

For more information, email Juan Manuel Prado at