Crowded Buses, Vehement Agreement, and Lost Love: Vision Dissonance Between Users and Planners of TransMilenio Bus Rapid Transit

This mixed-methods study examines the conflict between transit users and planners in the case of TransMilenio Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Bogotá and Soacha, Colombia through the lens of vision dissonance, or conflicts that occur due to differences in overt priorities or latent factors such as incompatible assumptions, definitions, narratives, and norms about valid evidence. Using surveys, qualitative in-transit interviews, and sit-down interviews, the authors document TransMilenio users’ perspectives and compare them with those of planners. The authors find a mismatch between the two groups’ priorities. Planners prioritize addressing endemic fare evasion. Users are frustrated at campaigns against fare evasion while quality of service remains low. While overcrowded transit affects all users, people with disabilities and women are particularly affected by planners’ failure to address users’ priorities. The authors also find that communication styles fuel dissonance even around issues planners and users both value. Finally, they identify dissonance generated by planners’ common view of TransMilenio as a love story gone wrong. Some planners hope to recapture users’ hearts with better service, but others want to educate users so that they respect the service. This desire to get community members to accept the ‘truth’ that planners already see without reciprocating is at the heart of many vision dissonance conflicts. The authors close by discussing how planners can use public involvement techniques, including meetings, surveying and interviewing, to proactively manage vision dissonance conflicts and better meet community needs.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ADD50 Standing Committee on Environmental Justice in Transportation.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
    • Kash, Gwen
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 20p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01697966
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-06072
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 7 2018 9:42AM