Latin America is the most urbanised region in the world according to UN-Habitat, about 90% of the Southern Cone population will live in cities by 2020, and the rate of urban population in the continent will reach 89% in 2050. The number of cities in the region has increased six times in 50 years.
The growth of cities was done without planning which causes large deficit of infrastructure, sanitation, housing and public transport also. Another worrying point is that cities are becoming less compact and follow expanding physically, despite the demographic downturn, which is an additional difficulty to provide a high quality public transport.
While it is a challenge the development of public transport, there is a great opportunity to make public transport a suitable tool for the planning of cities and promote sustainable growth.
Currently public transport in Latin America requires more than investment in infrastructure, needs an institutional strengthening and training of technical staff to be prepared to set good projects and appropriate investments to the needs of citizens.