Bus vs. Rail

Are fast and efficient buses 'the wave of the future,' or just a cheaper alternative to rail?
October 23, 2003, 2pm PDT | Connie Chung
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In Boston, the MBTA's general manager "considers bus travel an important but neglected part of the transit system and touts souped-up service called 'bus rapid transit,' which is designed to be as reliable as trains, as the wave of the future. But the emphasis on buses is setting off concern in urban areas where residents have been waiting for years for subway expansions. Many fear that state transportation planners are eyeing bus service as a cheap alternative to rail service, at a time when transit funding is scarce....Building...dedicated lanes in dense urban areas like Boston...is complicated and expensive, raising the specter of sleeker-looking buses that get stuck in traffic just as the current vehicles do....Bus rapid transit systems appear to work best when the vehicles run in their own lane, physically separated from traffic, like the system in Curitiba, Brazil, transit planners say."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Monday, October 20, 2003 in The Boston Globe
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