EMBARQ (the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities) has grown rapidly since 2002 and now employs over 200 people across five regional centres in Mexico, Brazil, India, Turkey and China.
The network has influenced urban design and transport infrastructure in over 117 cities to-date, delivering substantial social and environmental impact in Latin America and Asia.
By building a reputation for delivering results, EMBARQ has attracted long-term commitments from American philanthropist Stephen Ross, Caterpillar Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies and FedEx to fund their own growth – and have leveraged nearly $4.8 billion from private and public investors into the infrastructure projects they have helped to implement.
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- EMBARQ’s first flagship project was with the government of Mexico City to create “Metro Bus” - a 20 km Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor that provides affordable mass transit via dedicated bus lanes on a major city artery. Metrobus has now expanded to a 105 km system that carries nearly a million passengers per day, cutting travel times by 42% and mitigating CO2 emissions by over 122,000 tonnes per year.
- This initial success has led to the development of a further six BRT systems supported by EMBARQ Mexico in cities such as Guadalajara and Leon. The impact of these systems led the government of Mexico to appoint EMBARQ as a technical adviser to their dedicated mass transit national fund in 2010.
- EMBARQ helped establish India’s first public-private partnership for sustainable transport in the city of Indore, and is supporting the city agency in operating its public transport system – doubling the capacity of Indore’s bus network to 220,000 trips per day. EMBARQ has also become a leading partner to improve services for rickshaw users and drivers across India.
- EMBARQ supported Rio de Janeiro’s successful bid for the 2016 Olympic Games, by demonstrating that its planned bus rapid transit network was capable of meeting the transport needs of visitors and spectators during the games.
- EMBARQ also provided operations, road safety and marketing support to Rio de Janeiro and two other cities – Belo Horizonte and Brazilia – to install high-quality BRT systems in preparation for the Football World Cup in 2014. Based on this experience, EMBARQ was invited by the Brazilian Ministry of Cities to develop a framework that would guide federal investment in mobility infrastructure.
- In 2012, EMBARQ helped to secure a $175 billion commitment from the world’s largest multilateral development banks at the Rio+20 Summit to be delivered by 2022 to shift funding towards sustainable transport in developing countries.
- EMBARQ now works at an international level with agencies such as UN-HABITAT and the World Health Organisation, to shape sustainable mobility and urban development polices and contribute expert input to initiatives such as the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety.