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BRT Lessons From Latin America

An event held at The Brookings Institution invited transit experts to discuss the lessons learned from BRT systems in Latin America and their applicability in the United States.
March 9, 2011, 1pm PST | Victor Negrete
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According to the panel of experts who gathered at The Brookings Institution yesterday, "in Latin America, alone, there are 32 cities with BRT, representing one quarter of the world's total length of BRT corridors. These systems serve a whopping two-thirds of global BRT ridership, or 18 million people per day."

"User fares on BRT are low, so the solution requires high occupancy rates, but that can make the passenger experience less than ideal. An advantage worth noting, however, is that the vehicles and operations of all BRT systems in Latin America, besides Santiago, are fully paid by user fares."

BRT, according to this article from, faces more hurdles in the U.S. than in Latin American countries. Among these obstacles: "aggressive lobbies for rail, as well as aggressive lobbies against BRT and buses"; "the notion that bus systems can't be permanent, and therefore, aren't appealing to real estate developers"; and myths or misconceptions that "buses are slow, noisy, unreliable and polluting."

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Published on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 in Sustainable Cities Collective
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