A project to enhance public transit systems in medium-sized cities within Colombia.


Colombia has experienced sustained economic growth for the past two decades. That growth has resulted in increasing urbanization, which in turn has created higher demand for well-functioning urban transportation systems. To answer this demand, the Government of Colombia created a National Urban Transportation Plan (NUTP) in 2002, which was designed to improve overall functioning of transportation systems.

Presently, Columbia’s transportation infrastructure has much room for improvement. The bus fleet is aging, service is poor, and corporate structure is lacking. This has resulted in a host of problems, including weak regulatory framework and a lack of technical and institutional capacity. Additionally, road infrastructure is old and unable to cope with the capacity demands placed on it by urbanization.

Part of Colombia’s NUTP involves the implementation of Strategic Public Transportation Systems (SETPs) in mid-sized cities (those with populations between 250,000 and 600,000 residents). This project will support SETP adoption in four eligible cities. 

Objectives and Outputs:

In 2011, the Government of Columbia partnered with Inter-American Development Bank and CIF to begin implementation of SETPs in in the cities of Pasto, Popayán, Armenia and Santa Marta. CIF contributed $20 million in CTF funding for this project, which will take place over ten years.

While the primary purpose of the project is to aid in SETP implementation, four components will be necessary for successful completion of the project. First, project management financing will ensure long-term coordination, evaluation, and implementation activities. Second, infrastructure financing will improve road and transport infrastructure, as well as allowing for technical studies and engineering and construction designs. While infrastructure improvements will be focused on motorized traffic, SETPS also include financing for non-motorized transportation, as well as pedestrian access enhancements. Third, traffic control centers will be financed and implemented. Fourth, funding will be provided for land acquisition, compensation plans, and resettlement of affected populations.

The project will provide direct benefits to the populations of Pasto, Popayán, Armenia and Santa Marta in the form of reduced air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, which will be decreased by nearly 80,000 metric tons per year. Additionally, the approximately 800,000 passengers serviced by the transport systems of the four target cities will benefit from improved transport access and an associated improvement in quality of life. The project is expected to be particularly beneficial for the lower-income population, which accounts for the majority of public transport users in the target cities and currently faces hardships posed by long, combined trips with high fares.

This project summary is drawn from draft project proposals [such as the PAD, PID, SAR, and country investment plan] and may not contain the most up-to-date information.

Project Details
Project Proposal | Annex: Fit with CTF Investment Criteria | Proposed Decision 
Approved on August 19, 2011 (Approved Decision)
Approved amount(s):
USD 20.0 million