Table of Contents:
Introduction to Bus Rapid Transit
In Ottawa, Canada, bus rapid transit has given commuters in single-family suburban neighborhoods one-seat rides to downtown job centers, without the need to drive to a station. In New York City and Los Angeles, bus rapid transit has dramatically increased bus speeds and ridership. Around the United States and the world, governments are turning to "bus rapid transit" as a solution to their congestion and mobility problems.
But what is bus rapid transit?
Bus rapid transit (BRT) is a combination of service improvements that can drastically improve bus transit. BRT implementations range from what are essentially upgraded express buses to major transit systems capable of carrying 15,000 passengers or more per direction per hour, but all combine dedicated rights-of-way and measures to speed boarding to provide faster, more frequent, more reliable bus service. Many systems also include high-capacity buses and large stations with amenities.
BRT is seeing increasing use across the United States and the world because it is flexible and can generally be built quickly and at relatively low cost. Many municipalities are also using BRT elements to dramatically improve their existing bus services. In the tri-state area, BRT is being studied or has been implemented in the Hudson Valley; Central Avenue in Westchester County; New York City; Newark; and the Hartford-New Britain corridor in Connecticut.