Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a high-quality bus-based transit system that delivers fast, comfortable, and cost-effective services at metro-level capacities. It does this through the provision of dedicated lanes, with busways and iconic stations typically aligned to the center of the road, off-board fare collection, and fast and frequent operations.
Because BRT contains features similar to a light rail or metro system, it is much more reliable, convenient and faster than regular bus services. With the right features, BRT is able to avoid the causes of delay that typically slow regular bus services, like being stuck in traffic and queuing to pay on board.
What is a BRT Corridor?
A BRT corridor is a section of road or contiguous roads served by a bus route or multiple bus routes with a minimum length of 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) that has dedicated bus lanes. The BRT Standard is to be applied to specific BRT corridors rather than to a BRT system as a whole, because the quality of BRT in cities with multiple corridors can vary significantly*.
To be considered BRT, a corridor must:
- be at least 3km length with dedicated lanes,
- score 4 or more points in dedicated right-of-way element,
- score 4 or more points in busway alignment element; and
- score 20 or more points across all five BRT Basics element.
*See The Scorecard 2016 for more details.
The BRT Basics
There are five essential features that define BRT. These features most significantly result in a faster trip for passengers and make traveling on transit more reliable and more convenient.
Bus-only lanes make for faster travel and ensure that buses are never delayed due to mixed traffic congestion.
Center of roadway or bus-only corridor keeps buses away from the busy curbside where cars are parking, standing, and turning
Off-board Fare Collection
Fare payment at the station, instead of on the bus, eliminates the delay caused by passengers waiting to pay on board
Prohibiting turns for traffic across the bus lane reduces delays caused to buses by turning traffic. Prohibiting such turns is the most important measure for moving buses through intersections – more important even than signal priority.
The station should be at level with the bus for quick and easy boarding. This also makes it fully accessible for wheelchairs, disabled passengers, strollers and carts with minimal delays.