Even though BRT is certainly not the panacea for all urban transport problems, we consider it a key element in the development of sustainable future urban transport since BRT systems are:
- Affordable and thus within reach for many metropolitan areas;
- Flexible and adaptable to many cities and their growth profiles;
- Implementable quickly;
- Potentially as attractive for users as rail-based public transport alternatives; and
- Feasible instrument to make metropolitan areas more sustainable from the economic, financial, social, political, technical and environmental perspectives
Our objective is to support the successful deployment of BRT, through the identification and effective communication of the conditions necessary for success at the strategic, tactical and operational decision levels.
Our focus is not only at the BRT project level, but also on how BRT projects interact with other elements of the urban system so that its complete mobility system is transformed and the whole city becomes more sustainable and attractive.
Our aim is to:
- Support the successful deployment of BRT, through the identification and effective communication of the conditions necessary for success at the strategic, tactical and operational decision levels;
- Define an envelope of efficient solutions as a function of key parameters, such as population density, demand levels, growth expectations, urban and road space and budget;
- Identify key design dimensions and compare solutions with competing technologies under different social, political and economic conditions; and
- Study policy issues broadly, from a political viewpoint to practical implementation details, to ensure the system’s success and sustainability. Central to this is an educational strategy aimed at ensuring acceptance from key stakeholders who influence investment decisions in public transport.
Our approach includes:
- The development of methods and tools for the analysis and evaluation of BRT systems;
- The production and dissemination of Case Studies, in which we will present critical review of successful and not so successful cases of BRT implementation – completed or underway – in different continents and urban settings;
- The production and dissemination of educational material aimed at both the stakeholders and at formal University courses, thus addressing the immediate needs and laying the foundation for the development of the next generation of qualified professionals and researchers with an interest in BRT; and
- The implementation of our research and learning through the EMBARQ network and the cities associated to our CoE.
We expect that this CoE will be an agent for change in cities worldwide seeking to transform their public transport systems. On one hand we expect to participate through EMBARQ and other links, in specific projects needing our scientific background and tools; this participation will also be crucial to raise relevant questions requiring urgent answers. On the other hand, we expect to become a valuable resource for cities looking for advice on what type of transformation their public transport system needs; how to promote it among decision makers, citizens and the media; and how to design, implement and operate it.