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Bus Rapid Transit In Name Only

San Diego provides a case study for how bus rapid transit sometimes fails to meet the standards befitting its name.
April 7, 2017, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
Oran Viriyincy

Alon Levy contributes to Voice of San Diego in an article critical of San Diego, California's Rapid bus system, operated by the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System.

A summary of Levy's argument in the article: "In branding, San Diego’s Rapid bus looks as sleek as the best bus rapid transit systems. But on the ground, it falls short of the standards for good bus service."

Levy is calling out San Diego's Rapid bus system as an example of "BRT creep." According to Levy, BRT creep is defined as "when a transit agency sells an improvement to the public as BRT, but due to cost considerations or political opposition, it ends up providing something only marginally faster than a regular bus."

Using San Diego's Rapid bus as a case study, Levy is able to explore all the characteristics and ideas of optimized bus rapid transit. For more information on the best practices, as implemented (or not) by bus rapid transit systems around the world, check out the platform. Planetizen has also covered the issue of BRT creep, without using that exact term, many times in the past:

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Published on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 in Voice of San Diego
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