BRT in the Americas: New Trends and Opportunities

03 / 06 / 2015

Source: Meetings of Minds

On March 10, 2015 at 9am PST, Meeting of the Minds, together with the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations, hosted a live webinar on the topic of bus rapid transit.

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Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is gaining support around the world as one solution for sustainable transport in both developing and developed cities because of its ability to carry large passenger flows all while maintaining the flexibility of bus service with low capital costs and fairly quick implementation time.

Meeting peak-hour transportation demand for large numbers of people who want to reach the same place in a short period of time is an urban constraint in every city. Over the past 100 years, cities have been designed to allow car owners to reach these destinations. However, cars do not use urban space efficiently, cause significant congestion, and contribute to high pollution rates at low speeds. BRT aims to change that.

BRT is a flexible, rubber-tired form of rapid transit that combines stations, vehicles, services, running ways and ITS elements into an integrated system. By aiming to provide Metro-like service on the surface, BRT has gained a lot of attention from urban planners worldwide. This transport mode is increasingly being implemented in cities worldwide. More date is available at the BRT database: However, it is often still considered a lesser alternative when compared with Metro transit. One of the main criticisms of BRT is that it has failed to provide the benefits that Metro transit can provide. However, BRT needs to be reframed as an option that provides a service level that Metro systems cannot. In this month’s webinar, we will describe the evolution of the BRT industry with a main focus on the Americas and share insights for how the bus and transportation industry can change the conversation and policy direction in cities around the world.