A review of technological improvements in bus rapid transit (BRT) and buses with high level of service (BHLS)

Author: Hidalgo, D. and Muñoz, J.C. (2014)

Journal: Public Transport 6, 185-213

Keywords: BRT, BHLS, Running way guidance, Vehicle propulsion technologies, ITS, Curitiba, Paris, Bogota, Santiago, Istanbul, Guangzhou

Bus rapid transit BRT, and its European counterpart buses with high level of service BHLS, have been adopted by more than 160 cities around the world as a low cost, rapid implementation option for improved transit services. This paper summarizes some past advances of BRT and BHLS and presents some trends in vehicle guidance, propulsion technologies and information systems which are shaping the future of bus systems. We use the cities of Curitiba, Paris, Bogotá, Santiago, Istanbul, and Guangzhou to present relevant breakthroughs in bus system evolution. Thanks to the advances pioneered in these cities, BRT and BHLS became feasible alternatives to or complement metro and trams, and an integral part of integrated transit solutions, even in megacities like Mexico, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, and New York. Evolution is ongoing; cities and providers are advancing technological components to enhance passenger experience and improve the technical, economic and environmental performance of BRT and BHLS.