January 01, 2005

Institutional and Regulatory Options for BRT in Developing Countries

An increasing number of cities are looking at Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as a lower cost alternative to meeting their mass transit needs. Less fully explored, however, has been the link between BRT and the implementation of transit system regulatory reforms. In a growing number of cities around the world, the introduction of a BRT system has also been used to implement some important long-term transit sector reforms. Because BRT makes bus operations more profitable, introducing BRT gives the municipality additional leverage to demand more from private operators.

This paper discusses how, in an increasing number of cities, BRT projects have been used to:

  1. Facilitate a smooth transition to a sometimes more efficient ‘trunk and feeder’ or ‘hub and spoke’ bus routing system.
  2. Increase private sector investment into the transit system.
  3. Change private bus operating contracts to include quality of service requirements.

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