What is BRT?
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a bus-based rapid transit system that can achieve high capacity and speed at relatively low cost by combining segregated bus lanes that are typically median aligned, off-board fare collection, level boarding, bus priority at intersections, and other quality-of-service elements.
Five essential elements put the “rapid” in Bus Rapid Transit:
A more detailed discussion of what constitutes BRT can be found in The BRT Standard which BRTPlan’s Principals co-created.
BRT provides a low-cost but high-value approach to improving key transit performance indicators:
- Reliability is increased since buses have dedicated-running lanes and are not impacted by vehicle congestion.
- Journey time is decreased since buses are able to operate at higher speeds and reduce their dwell time in stations.
- Passenger experience is improved with well-equipped buses and stations designed to provide superior comfort.
- Ridership is increased due to the improvement of the three factors above, as well as an increase in system capacity.
BRT boasts a significantly lower construction, operations, and maintenance cost than light rail, metro rail and heavy rail transit, and is far more conducive to building extensive transit networks since buses can operate both on and off a BRT corridor. This extends the benefits of BRT to a far wider reach of citizens than its rail-based counterparts while providing similar peak-hour capacity and greater operational flexibility.
BRT’s excellent value proposition have made it especially popular in emerging economies looking to drastically improve their citizens’ mobility with more limited resources, but the benefits of BRT can be reaped in any city around the world willing to invest in this world-class transportation system.