Defining a New Urban Public Transport Policy Through Consensus - Taking Advantage of the Political Change in Venezuela



Defining a New Urban Public Transport Policy Through Consensus - Taking Advantage of the Political Change in Venezuela

Authors

The latest comprehensive urban transport policy in Venezuela was formulated (by the central government) in 1991. It was based on four proposals: Urban transport decentralisation or "municipalisation" (i.e. actual take over of transport duties by municipal

Description

The reasons for this failure have been attributed to the following:

Abstract

The reasons for this failure have been attributed to the following:

* The lack of adequate co-ordination between the different authorities responsible for transport provision and with those in charge of urban planning;

* Very modest financial resources available compared with the requirements; and

* The difficulty of organising and managing a myriad of small transport operators.

All this is overshadowed by a political system allowing well-established patterns of mismanagement of public resources. In 1999, a new elected government introduced significant changes in the political and institutional national framework, including a new Constitution approved through a national referendum. Such political and institutional changes offered a unique opportunity for reformulating transport policy. Given the high number of agents with contradictory interests involved in the sector, it appeared that consensus was the key factor in getting any progress. As the difficulties of reaching consensus could not be overcome, a new method to formulate policy was found, which proved.

This paper focuses on the process of definition and reformulation of a new national urban transport policy through a participatory process that incorporates input from all relevant parties. Its objective is to present, in a systematic way, some ideas, adapted to the changing national development strategies, that could be used to establish the guidelines for a new urban transport policy in Venezuela but also to support changes in other countries with similar problems.

The paper presents the strategy used to build a consensus in urban transport policy and some of the first results of the process. The research has been based on a project conducted by the Urban and Regional Studies Institute (IERU), at Simon Bolivar University, under the direction of the National Funding Agency for Urban Transport (FONTUR).

The paper explains the context and some key historical developments in order to understand the process of consensus-building, indicates the results of the two methodologies applied to define a new national urban transport policy and presents the basic ideas for the new policy guidelines.

Publisher

Association for European Transport