June 23, 2012

Rockefeller Foundation Gives Official Endorsement to The BRT Standard

ITDP is pleased to announce The Rockefeller Foundation’s endorsement of The BRT Standard, ITDP’s bus rapid transit scoring and certification system. This endorsement will be enormously helpful as ITDP seeks to set an internationally recognized standard for what constitutes best practice in BRT, and works to achieve a gold-standard corridor in the US.

Currently in its pilot year, The BRT Standard awards points for benefits such as off-board fare collection, frequency of service, at-level boarding, safe and comfortable station design, passenger comfort and access, and good integration with cycling and walking. It deducts points for low speeds, overcrowding, poor maintenance of buses or stations, lack of right-of-way enforcement, and too long or too short distances between stations. Similar to the LEED green building ratings, The BRT Standard designates gold, silver, and bronze rankings.

“We are honored to have the support of the Rockefeller Foundation as we move forward and prepare to launch the updated BRT Standard in 2013,” says Walter Hook, CEO of ITDP, “we hope that certifying and celebrating those cities that succeed in developing the highest quality BRT corridors will encourage more US cities to go beyond what has been done before.”

“The Rockefeller Foundation believes that ITDP’s BRT Standard will help ensure that people understand what true BRT really is and how it can transform their communities in a fast and cost effective way”, said Benjamin de la Pena, Associate Director, The Rockefeller Foundation.  “Half of all Americans have no access to transportation options other than a car, and true gold standard BRT can be a game changer for cities by providing reliable, flexible and high quality public transportation.”

The Rockefeller Foundation’s endorsement follows a multi-million dollar investment intended to spur the creation of a world-class BRT system in the US.  ITDP’s continued partnership with Rockefeller will enable ITDP to scale up its efforts to use The BRT Standard to uphold the minimum definition of BRT, and encourage American city leaders to “go for the gold” when planning corridors. ITDP is working on several new promising BRT projects in the US, including Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Nashville, and Montgomery County, Maryland, and is looking forward to releasing international rankings of BRT corridors in 2013.

The BRT Standard Version 1.0 pilot is available for download in English, Spanish, and Portuguese at BRTStandard.org.

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