Among the many obstacles that make life difficult in Latin American metropoles, urban mobility is certainly near the top of that list. Problems with transport are constantly cited as barriers to economic, social, and environmental development. A 2015 study shows how the continent relies so heavily on cars for individual transportation, calling it “an inefficient and polluting” mode of transport.
Fortaleza, the beachfront capital city of the state of Ceará, was a mainstay on international lists of cities haunted by traffic jams. According to a global ranking by Dutch GPS company TomTom, in 2017 Fortaleza had the fourth worst traffic in Brazil – and 35th in the world. Drivers take 35 percent more time to reach their destinations due to congested roads.
But Fortaleza is doing its part to reduce traffic and the pollution caused by cars, trying to nudge the population towards buses and bike lanes instead. In 2014, the city launched a bike share system and built 108 kilometers of priority bus lanes and 225 kilometers of cycling routes.