75% of Colombia's population currently lives in cities and most of these urban residents rely entirely on the public transportation system. Yet, public transportation is the cause of many of these cities' problems, including serious traffic congestion, high incidences of accidents and crime, unhealthy air, and pollutants responsible for 62% of Colombia's carbon emissions.
In 1998, the Colombian government began modernizing its transit system by developing a rapid bus system called Transmilenio in Bogota. Funded by the World Bank through the Bogota Urban Transport Project, the Transmilenio soon became an internationally recognized model for efficiency, improved speed, safety, and reduced urban traffic.
The Colombian government and the World Bank are continuing to work together through the World Bank-funded Integrated Mass Transit Systems Second Additional Financing Project. It is designed to improve transport efficiency and accessibility, and allow for less fuel use per kilometer and fewer air pollutant emissions. It will also reduce fuel consumption as old buses are retired and replaced with new fuel efficient ones. The government continues to see this new transit system as an important contributor to climate change mitigation and is analyzing how further improvements to urban transport systems can contribute to reducing Colombia's carbon footprint.
The Transmilenio program has been registered under the Clean Development Mechanism to deliver carbon credits.