Boston finds itself at a crossroads. The metropolitan area is in dire need of bold, modern, resilient, but also cost-efficient transit solutions to improve and complement our existing system. The record-level snowfall in 2015 and other extreme weather events are harsh reminders of this longstanding reality. Metropolitan area planners have included BRT in a number of proposals, and portions of the Silver Line bus in Boston have elements of BRT. But its potential hasn’t been truly realized, and there had previously never been a citywide technical analysis of what this mode of transit can offer.
To better understand whether and where BRT could work in the region, the Barr Foundation convened the Greater Boston BRT Study Group. Made up of diverse stakeholders and transit experts from across the city, the BRT Study Group partnered with the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy to investigate the possibilities for implementing BRT throughout the metropolitan area. In particular, the Study Group focused on the highest performance level of BRT called Gold Standard. This report outlines the Study Group’s conclusions, and the benefits Gold Standard BRT has to offer in Greater Boston.