The Case for Bus Rapid Transit

Bus rapid transit (BRT) is well known among planners as a cheap method to improve bus service and provide an alternative to rail, but BRT projects around the country have met resistance from an array of status quo interests.
February 26, 2014, 9am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Yonah Freemark argues in favor of a more widespread adoption of bus rapid transit (BRT). “With projects like BRT, we have an opportunity to play to the great advantages of dense, urban environments, where transit is truly effective in connecting people to jobs and other needs, if given the chance to thrive.”

Freemark details the benefits of removing bus traffic from automobile traffic, and cites the successes of BRT projects. For example, “in city after city, BRT services have indeed increased ridership,” and “businesses fearful of fewer cars driving down streets with BRT should comfort themselves with the fact that more transit users typically means more economic activity, not less.”

Freemark drills a little deeper on the example of Chicago’s BRT line on Ashland Avenue: “For people living near several stations, the number of jobs accessible within a 20-minute transit commute would increase by more than 80 percent. The line itself would increase the number of people living and working within a quarter mile of a rapid transit station by 80,000 and 25,000, respectively.”

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Published on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 in Atlantic Cities
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