Wired rides the Bronx's new Bus Rapid Transit, and determines that "rapid" is in the eye of the beholder.
"Sunday, passengers taking the Bx12 Limited bus route in New York's Bronx experienced a different ride than the usual. The buses had changed colors and the stops became "stations." With the use of dedicated lanes, pre-paid boarding, and limited stops, the city hopes to reduce the time to travel the whole route by at least 10 minutes in the future. The buses, however, aren't much faster when looking at the printed schedules.
The Select Bus Service, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority calls it, only cuts three minutes during the midday service off the pre-Select Bus Bx12 Limited service. The MTA, however, says that they will monitor the route closely and then reflect on the time savings.
One of the biggest time savers is the reduced boarding times. With automatic ticket machines, riders swipe their MetroCards or pay their fares at Select Bus stations and receive a receipt. Passengers can then board through any door of the bus. The line uses a proof-of-payment system, where ticket inspectors randomly show up to enforce the payment of fares."