Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Continuing Rise of Bus Rapid Transit

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), runs faster than ordinary bus service due to various features traditionally associated with trains. BRT systems may have dedicated rights-of-way; articulated, guided or otherwise enhanced buses; prioritized traffic signaling; central dispatching; enclosed stations, or other optimizations. Transit planners view BRT as a more flexible and less expensive to build than light or heavy rail, with many of the same benefits. BRT seems to be catching on around the world. The RIT in Curitiba, Brazil pictured here is considered an model system, and recently a new system opened in Bogota, Colombia.

Here in Portland, we are putting the finishing touches on a new downtown Transit Mall with dedicated bus lanes, and are planning a new bridge that will be closed to cars, but we continue to expand our light rail and streetcar systems, with little apparent interest in full-fledged BRT.

Do you live in a city that has or, should have, BRT? What are your experiences with this mode of transit?

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