Bus rapid transit apes trains to attract riders

PSM reader Michael Kenny points to this article in the Wall Street Journal on bus rapid transit, or BRT. For the unfamiliar, BRT lines are served by standard or extended-length buses and have various advantages over traditional bus lines—fewer stops, nicer shelters, signal priority, and reserved lanes. They’re typically cheaper than light rail, too. But there’s one drawback that’s seldom mentioned—it’s far easier to water down a BRT proposal by doing away with reserved lanes and improved shelters, making BRT less appealing to riders.

Still, as Kenny notes, BRT can help extend transit to cities and communities that might not have the money for rail. You’ve got to start somewhere.

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