Arturo Ardila-Gómez conducts research on transportation issues because they involve people. In developing countries, the poor suffer because of inadequate transportation. His recent research has unveiled how public transportation arrangements favor a few powerful actors while the poor pay high fares. Ardila-Gómez advocates sustainable solutions within the reach of developing countries, such as bus rapid transit instead of rail-based solutions. He advocates walking, biking, and using public transportation instead of using a car. Ardila-Gómez does not own a car, and lives in Bogotá, a city with an excellent rapid transit system.
He holds a PhD in urban transportation planning and a MA in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he was a Fulbright scholar. He is also a civil engineer, and holds a MA in economics from Los Andes University in Bogotá. He has conducted research for the Center for Transportation Studies at MIT, the Research Center of the School of Engineering, and the Center for Economic Development Studies, both at Los Andes University, as well as for the SER Research Institute in Bogotá. He has consulted for the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the governments of Bogotá, Cartagena, San Juan, La Paz, Ciudad de Panamá, San José de Costa Rica, Managua, Ciudad de Guatemala, San Salvador, Tegucigalpa, and Mérida. He is the author of several peer-reviewed articles and a book on political and administrative decentralization in Bogotá.