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WKU department head continues transportation research in Peru

During WKU’s 2015 Spring Break week, University Distinguished Professor of Geography Dr. David Keeling traveled to Peru to extend ongoing research on the transportation systems of Latin America.

In recent years, Dr. Keeling has published a number of book chapters and articles on the growing accessibility and mobility challenges faced by Latin American countries.

A map of the planned Lima Metro Rail System. Line 1 is already in operation.

A map of the planned Lima Metro Rail System. Line 1 is already in operation.

Peru is the third largest country in South America, with approximately 30 million inhabitants, one-third of whom are crowded into the Lima Metropolitan region. The country faces significant geographic challenges, with the Andes mountains separating the Peruvian Amazon lowlands from the coastal desert environment. Movement along the east-west corridors between the coast and the Amazon basin must negotiate the high Andes, while north-south traffic is concentrated along the congested Pan American Highway that connects Peru along the coast to Ecuador and Chile.

With a growing population of 10 million, the capital city of Lima has invested significant resources in building a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system and a metro rail system to ease traffic congestion on the city’s roads. Only about 15 percent of the country’s roads are paved, and the overall quality of the road infrastructure is poor compared to neighboring countries.

As Associate Editor of the international Journal of Transport Geography, Dr. Keeling aims to develop individual country transport analyses for each country in Latin America over the next few years in order to focus more attention on the challenges facing these societies. Argentina and Brazil have already been published, and the Peru report is currently in development. Dr. Keeling’s most recent chapter on Latin America’s transportation challenges appears in the 7th edition of Latin America and the Caribbean: A Systematic and Regional Survey.

Contact: David Keeling, (270) 745-4555

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