BRT to save Cairo?

What is the best way improve transportation to get people and goods moving in Cairo?

Nick Hamilton poses this question wondering if is it the best strategy to schedule only 18.6% of a total fund of 17 billion US Dollars for subways and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems as opposed to more than 45% for making new express highways. The later will mainly serve private car owners that represent only 11% of households in Cairo! So can this be regarded as planning transportation for majority as Sims elaborates in his book.

A recent report issued by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy and EMBARQ, titled “The Life and Death of Urban Highways” is a solid look at the role and history of city highways across the globe. The report laments the spread of these urban trends with many cities in Latin America, and more recently in China and India building new highways and surface roads at a rapid pace. As a counter argument, it provides several case studies showcasing different cities that became stronger when freeways were removed or reconsidered. One particularly relevant case is that of Bogotá – as it runs parallel to the current situation in Cairo as Meredith Hutch reports.

In the mid-1990’s Colombia’s capital, in an effort to decrease intense traffic congestion in the city center, considered two infrastructure and transportation plans. As part of Bogotá’s long-term mobility strategy, TransMilenio was implemented in place of constructing an elevated highway.
Bogota Columbia BRT - people move on the buses, cars can't get in the way (more photos on ScottDalton_BogotaBRT_NYTimes)
Another case study is the case of Ahmedabad’s BRT system that is being studied by other Asian cities as a prototype that could be transplanted elsewhere.Read more about the system here.
As rush hour evening traffic builds, the Janmarg lanes provide clear passage for buses (click the image above for more photos)
TheBRT system in Ahmedabad, India is considered by many experts to be one of the best. Note: this BRT system shares many similarities to a subway metro system only it costs as little as 1/10 as much: passengers pay before entering; they enter through all of the buses doors; the platform is raised for easy and safe access; the buses have their own right of way that cars cannot drive on. (more the planning and design in

Mohamed Elshahed argues that a rapid bus system would help the Cairo’s traffic problems immensely and it is badly needed along the city’s main roads: the ring road, Mehwar, and also crosstown routes such as Salah Salem.

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The people from the barrio built the city twice: during the day we built the houses of the well-off. At night and at weekends, with solidarity, we built our own homes, our barrio.

  —Andrés Antillano, resident of Caracas, April 15, 2004