In August of 2007, the mayor of Bogotá, Luis Eduardo Garzón, had to decide whether to proceed with plans to build a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line in Avenida Séptima, one of the most important transportation corridors in the Colombian capital. The proposed line would be an extension of Bogotá's BRT system, called TransMilenio, which had opened in 2000 as the first BRT system to be built in a large metropolis. TransMilenio's modest construction cost, high capacity and excellent quality of service had attracted the attention of urban transportation planners around the world and the system soon became one of the most acclaimed and imitated transportation innovations of its time. But the performance of TransMilenio had deteriorated somewhat over time, as the system expanded. And the latest proposed addition on Avenida Séptima posed special technical and political challenges. Elections were only a few months away and by law Garzón could not run for immediate reelection, but the candidate from his party was campaigning on a platform of building a metro instead of expanding the BRT system. Should Mayor Garzón try to lock the city into expanding the BRT by awarding contracts to build Avenida Séptima or leave the decision for his successor?
This case is designed for use in a course on project management, urban planning or transportation policy to illustrate the political and technical challenges of implementing and sustaining a major reform.