Although not nearly as well known as Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo, Curitiba is noteworthy when it comes to developing new initiatives in urban planning and public transportation. Curitiba is often cited as having the world’s first successful bus rapid transit system, the Rede Integrada de Transporte (RIT), which opened in 1974. The RIT network is so successful that it carries over two million people per day in a metropolitan area with fewer than 4 million people, a remarkable statistic in a country where sprawl and endless traffic congestion are the norm in most cities. The RIT network has a variety of features that many subsequent BRT systems have tried to emulate, including off-vehicle boarding, level boarding, exclusive rights of way for the buses, and signal prioritization.
In addition to its world-renowned bus system, Curitiba is the top station for the Serra Verde Express and has a small railway museum in one of its shopping malls.
The Rede Integrada de Transporte (RIT) was launched in 1974, making it one of the first bus rapid transit systems anywhere in the world. The system features 50 miles of exclusive busways radiating outward from the center of Curitiba. Passengers pay their fares before the bus arrives and elevated platforms mean that there are no steps between the stop and the bus, reducing dwell times. Daily ridership is about 2.3 million people per day (in a metropolitan area of 3.4 million people).