Optibus SIT Project Leon (BRT System)

Focus area: Mitigation
Location: City of Leon, Guanajuato Mexico
Established: September 2003

The Integrated Transport System (SIT) in the city of Leon, of which the Optibus BRT is an integral part, has set out to rearrange the city's public transport system with prioritization of mass transit. The SIT aims to create a more efficient, safe and reliable transport system, with reduced travel time and congestion, improve accessibility for the urban poor and the disabled, while also reducing emissions.

Optibus BRT system"s first phase was inaugurated in 2003, becoming the first Mexican city to implement a BRT system with feeders. By 2008, due to its popularity, ridership on Optibus had exceeded the system's capacity, at 220,000 trips per day. Recognizing there was a strong need to improve mobility for more people, its second phase was launched in August 2010. To date, total demand is at 700,000 trips per day, with 92 articulated buses and 69 feeder routes, operating in 30 kilometers of bus-only lines, with 65 stations and 4 main terminals.

Some of the key achievements of the system include:

  • Road accidents have decreased by 30%;
  • 200 polluting buses were removed from the roads, saving 2 million liters of fuel and reducing 6,000 ton of CO2 per year;
  • Transport companies running the system have been modernized.

Mitigation / Adaptation

Resulting from reduction and renewal of fleet, the system has reduced around 6,000 tons of CO2 per year. These calculations do not take into account the emissions that are reduced due to a change in transportation modes from private car to the system.


The most important economic and environmental benefits derive from increased integration between bus rapid transit, feeder and auxiliary lines, bringing considerable benefits to the population of the city of LeĂłn, through reduction of time travel, kilometers driven and accessibility to the urban poor.

Potential for scaling-up and replication

Due to the success of the BRT in Leon, cities such as Mexico and Guadalajara replicated the system with the Metrobus and the Marcrobus respectively. Resulting from the successful experiences, the national government launched in 2009 the Federal Mass Transit Program (PROTRAM) to improve urban transport in Mexico. The program provides funds for investment in mass-transit infrastructure, particularly Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines. At the same time, the local success of the system together with the increasing ridership has prompted the Municipality of Leon to include a third phase of the SIT (Optibus) in the current government plans.

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