city of Cusco is a city of 450 000 inhabitants, from which 55% travel in public transportation. As other Peruvian major cities, Cusco has to face important congestion problems as well as a continuous increase of its vehicle fleet. Since 2013, the Provincial Municipality of Cusco established regulatory policies regarding public transportation and mobility improvement; nevertheless, various measures of wider scope are yet to be developed and implemented.
In order to receive a technical support that will help accelerate and achieve solutions in the public transportation and mobility sectors of the Inca capital, the Provincial Municipality of Cusco requested its involvement in the activities of the Technical Cooperation between the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) – AFD – CODATU – CEREMA. With the objective to launch this collaboration, the Technical Cooperation team carried out a reconnaissance visit in the city of Cusco on the 24th and 25th April, 2017.
Reactivate the collaboration between the MTC and the Provincial Municipality of Cusco
This visit was an opportunity for the national entity and the provincial government to present their respective actions in the field of urban transport and to envisage their forthcoming coordination. The MTC presented the Urban Transport National Policy project, which will support the provincial governments while providing them with safe, reliable and economically viable transportation, and the related Program within which will lay the country’s urban transport projects that will receive a financial support from the national government. The municipal teams valued these national initiatives, which will allow for a harmonisation of the projects’ objectives and funding, and thus simplifying and accelerating their implementation. The institutions agreed on coordinating the placement of the Provincial Government of Cusco’s projects in the Public Investment Multiannual Programme and the future Urban Transport National Programme.
An ambitious metropolitan vision to create an integrated and sustainable city
The Provincial Municipality of Cusco is developing a Metropolitan Plan and a Mobility Plan, from which are formulated various major development projects that aim to create a city based on a polynuclear model. As a first step, the city’s road network will be prioritized so as to convert the main route into a public transport corridor and divert the private and heavy transport towards the « Via Evitamiento » (currently under construction). This corridor will be linked to an Integrated Transportation System that will include complementary routes located in the adjacent densely populated districts. It is also planned to reclaim the banks of the river Huatanay as well as the current location of the airport, which is in the middle of the city but will be relocated, to transform it into a large metropolitan park. Finally, the Municipality hopes to promote the historic heritage centre through pedestrianisation and parking regulation policies that will restore its liveability over its commercial and touristic uses.
In accordance with this vision, the municipal teams already undertook initiatives to regulate public transportation and improve urban mobility. Since 2013, the city’s transport companies operate under contracts that imply the renewal of their fleets. This measure allowed the modernization of the vehicle fleet and the disposal of “combi type” vehicles that are still being used in most of Peruvian cities. The Plaza de Armas was also made pedestrian, and access and parking restrictive measures were established in the historic centre. However, major projects of public transport system and mobility modernization are yet to be formulated, coordinated and developed in the city of Cusco. In order to prioritise the projects and to define the contributions of the Technical Cooperation to the Municipality, a group work based on the map of the city of Cusco was carried out.
A workshop to identify the priority projects: the need to connect and pacify the entrance of the historic centre
In the context of the visit, CODATU organised a workshop in which participated the municipal teams and the members of the Technical Cooperation, in order to coordinate and prioritise Cusco’s public transport system and mobility improvement projects. The participants worked on the city’s map and identified strategic locations of the urban area before defining an adapted transport system as well as related public space transformation projects. The teams suggested establishing a ring-shaped mass transportation corridor, and stressed the importance of the Av. El Sol and the Wanchaq Station (old railway station) as strategic connection points between the historic heritage centre and the future integrated transport system.
Subsequently, the participants visited the studied locations and confirmed the impact of this busy avenue that shows strong heritage and commercial potential. Based on the workshop discussions and with the Mayor’s approval, the representatives of the Municipality of Cusco and the Technical Cooperation agreed on developing a study on the transportation and urban mobility improvement in the Wanchaq and Av. El Sol area, which would include:
- A study on a circulation plan, traffic management and modelling in the historic centre;
- A study of the pedestrianisation of the avenue El Sol and of the pacification of the area;
- A study on the implementation of an efficient and non-polluting transport mode on the avenue El Sol;
- A study on a multimodal hub and the urban integration of the Wanchaq station.
This study will be conducted with support from the Technical Cooperation and in close coordination with the municipal teams, which will enable the Provincial Municipality of Cusco to take ownership of the project and facilitate its completion. This study will also have to be coordinated with the Integrated Transport System studies that are funded by the World Bank and will begin this year.
This mission in the city of Cusco is part of the CODATU technical cooperation in Peru. CODATU, the French Development Agency and the Peruvian Ministry of Transport and Communications have signed a technical cooperation agreement in February 2016 in order to support the Peruvian Ministry of Transport and Communications in the implementation of urban mobility projects and the public transport system improvement in major Peruvian cities.