Revolution Urban Transport: Curitiba’s Bus Rapid Transit System

Curitiba, a bustling city in Brazil, has been at the forefront of urban transportation innovation since the 1970s. With a rapidly growing population and the need for efficient public transport, the city took a bold step in revolutionizing its transit system. This article delves into the journey of Curitiba’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System, exploring its key features, benefits, and the impact it has had on urban commuting worldwide.

The Genesis of Curitiba's BRT System

In 1974, Curitiba embarked on a transformative journey to address its escalating population, which had soared from 120,000 to 361,000 in just two decades. The initial plan was to revamp the city’s infrastructure to accommodate more cars. However, the vision changed when Jaime Lerner, an architect with innovative ideas, became the mayor in 1971. Lerner envisioned a city that prioritized pedestrians and efficient public transport over cars. He introduced the pedestrian mall in the city center and laid the groundwork for the BRT System.

Key Features of the Curitiba BRT System

The success of Curitiba’s BRT System can be attributed to several distinctive features and initiatives:

  1. Dedicated Bus Lanes: Curitiba’s BRT System stands out for its dedicated bus lanes, ensuring that buses traverse the city swiftly and smoothly, unaffected by other traffic.

  2. Interconnected Routes: The system boasts a highly interconnected network, with multiple bus lines meeting at strategic points, facilitating easy transfers between different routes.

  3. Integrated Corridors: The introduction of integrated corridors allows passengers to seamlessly switch between buses, trains, and subways at a single location, enhancing the commuting experience.

  4. Universal Accessibility: Curitiba’s BRT System is designed to be inclusive, with low-floor buses and wheelchair ramps at all major stops, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their physical abilities, can use the service.

  5. High-Capacity and High-Speed Service: The BRT System is a beacon of efficiency, moving large numbers of passengers quickly through the city using dedicated lanes and advanced technology.

  6. Eco-Friendly Buses: Since 2014, Curitiba has been championing the use of 100% electric buses, which are powered by clean energy and produce fewer emissions than traditional buses.

The Impact and Success of Curitiba's BRT System

The BRT System in Curitiba is a resounding success, with 80% of the city’s travelers using it daily, amounting to around 2 million passengers. The system’s introduction of 30 hybrid buses has cut fuel needs by 35% and significantly reduced pollutant emissions. Furthermore, the BRT System has led to a decrease of approximately 27 million car trips annually, saving around 27 million liters of fuel each year. Curitiba’s innovative approach to urban transport has set a precedent, with over 150 cities worldwide adopting its BRT model.

Curitiba’s Bus Rapid Transit System is a testament to the city’s innovative spirit and commitment to sustainable urban development. It has not only transformed the commuting experience for its residents but also inspired cities around the globe to rethink their approach to public transportation. Curitiba’s BRT System stands as a shining example of how vision, innovation, and dedication can lead to a more efficient, inclusive, and environmentally friendly urban future.


The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System in Curitiba is an innovative public transportation network that utilizes dedicated bus lanes, integrated routes, and advanced technology to provide efficient and reliable transit services. Established in 1974, it has become a model for sustainable urban transportation worldwide.

The Curitiba BRT System promotes environmental sustainability through the use of eco-friendly buses, including a shift towards 100% electric buses since 2014. These buses operate on clean energy sources and produce fewer emissions compared to traditional gasoline or diesel buses. Additionally, the system reduces the number of car trips, saving millions of litres of fuel annually.

The Curitiba BRT System is unique due to its dedicated bus lanes, ensuring fast and efficient travel; interconnected routes that facilitate easy transfers; integrated corridors for seamless multi-modal transportation; universal accessibility; and high-capacity, high-speed service. These features collectively make the system a global benchmark in urban transportation.

Yes, the success of the Curitiba BRT System has inspired over 150 cities around the world to implement similar transportation models. Its innovative design and positive impact on urban mobility have made it a global reference for sustainable public transportation.

Approximately 2 million passengers utilize the Curitiba BRT System on a daily basis, accounting for 80% of the city’s travelers. This high usage rate reflects the system’s efficiency, reliability, and convenience.

Official resources such as and provide comprehensive information and insights into the Curitiba BRT System, its design, impact, and success in transforming urban transportation.