June 13, 2007

Planning Guide for Bus Rapid Transit Published

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New York, NY, June 13 – The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), together with the United Nations Environment Programme, Deutsche Gesselschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), the Hewlett Foundation, and Viva, announced today the publication of the Bus Rapid Transit Planning Guide, the most comprehensive effort to date to provide detailed technical guidance for developing a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

First developed in Curitiba, Brazil in the early 1970s, BRT uses high capacity buses, dedicated bus lanes, metro-like stations, and pre-paid boarding platforms to achieve a high-speed, high-quality customer service that was previously achieved only using rail technologies, generally at more than ten times the cost.

BRT became a global phenomenon after the completion of Bogotá’s TransMilenio system. Moving 45,000 passengers per direction each hour at over 28 kilometers (17 miles) per hour, TransMilenio moves more people faster than technical experts previously thought possible. The new BRT Guide, with contributions from the experts who designed TransMilenio and dozens of other systems, is the first comprehensive effort to document how this was done.

In recent years, BRT has become the most important global phenomenon in urban transportation since the introduction of the street car at the end of the 19th Century. In the last decade, new BRT systems have opened in cities across the world, including Bogotá, Colombia; Brisbane, Australia; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Beijing, China; Jakarta, Indonesia; Los Angeles, USA; Paris, France; and Seoul, South Korea.

Dozens of additional cities around the world, like Johannesburg, South Africa; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Guangzhou, China; and New York City, have taken active steps to develop BRT services as well.

By allowing cities to provide a functional network of public transport corridors, BRT permits even cities with modest resources to develop a high-quality mass transit system that serves the public’s daily travel needs.

“The Planning Guide taps the considerable experience of mass transit planners in Latin America, who have been the leaders in developing BRT,” said Walter Hook, Executive Director of ITDP. “Its aim is to share that knowledge with audiences in the U.S. and in other countries around the world.”

The BRT Planning Guide is intended to assist a range of parties involved in delivering public transport services to cities, such as municipal planning officials, consultants, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders in government, market, and civil sectors.

In total, there are 20 different chapters covering a broad set of planning issues including communications, demand analysis, operational planning, customer service, infrastructure, modal integration, vehicle and fare collection technology, institutional structures, costing, financing, marketing, evaluation, contracting, and construction planning. The Guide also lists a range of information sources that can assist a city’s BRT planning efforts.

The BRT Planning Guide is co-edited by Lloyd Wright, Executive Director of Viva; and Walter Hook, Executive Director of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). It was developed through support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Global Environment Facility/United Nations Environment Programme, and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH.

Digital copies of the Guide can be downloaded below. The document is currently available in English, but it will soon be translated to Spanish, Portuguese, French, Chinese, and Indonesian. Hard-copy versions will also be printed and available to interested parties. Details for placing mail orders on the print version will be released soon on the web site and in a subsequent announcement.

Download the BRT Planning Guide here

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