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 (such as information technology and strong branding).
Five essential elements put the “rapid” in Bus Rapid Transit:
1. Physically separated bus lanes;
2. Stations and bus lanes aligned to the center of the street;
3. Fares collected in the station, not on the bus;
4. Station platforms level with the bus floor to ease boarding;
5. Turn restrictions and bus priority at intersections to reduce delay from red traffic signals.
A more detailed discussion of what constitutes BRT can be found in The BRT Standard which BRTPlan’s Principals co-created.