The number of cities globally installing Bus Rapid Transit systems has grown from 45 to 160 in the past 18 years according to the World Resources Institute. The organization says, “the BRT concept has reached a tipping point, with massive new investment and significant expansion planned on six continents. EMBARQ estimates that dozens of cities around the world are planning new or expanding existing BRT or busways.”
Several North American cities have made BRT announcements in the last month.
Buffalo-Niagara is looking at pursuing funding for bus rapid transit service along a 12 km route on Bailey Avenue. BRT would use dedicated lanes and synchronized signals. The upgrade also could include bumped-out curbs to accommodate specially designed buses, and fewer but more sophisticated stops with ticket machines instead of paying on board and light rail stations resembling Metro Rail stops rather than bus shelters. “It would be very similar to light rail,” said Thomas George, NFTA director of public transit. “The stations would be spaced further apart with traffic and lane infrastructure amenities, and dedicated lanes that could make it faster travel than even by car. In the best-case scenario, we could improve travel time by as much as 40%.”
Capital District Transit Authority has a 40-mile network of Bus Rapid Transit service to connect downtown cores, population centers and areas of economic growth. CDTA is the only upstate New York transit system to build and operate BRT service, beginning with the 2011 introduction of the BRT Red Line, linking Albany, Colonie, and Schenectady. The BRT network is expanding with a second line, travelling along the River Corridor, connecting neighborhoods, downtowns, and employment centers in communities adjacent to the Hudson River. This corridor produces over 3 million rides annually. Albany has also purchased its first electric buses.
Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna was in Mississauga last month to announce funding for the construction of a dedicated two-way BRT corridor on Lakeshore Road with three new stations between East Avenue and Deta Road. The project will also feature separated bike lanes and sidewalks. Rudy Cuzzetto, Mississauga–Lakeshore MPP said that the BRT will support the growing population along the Lakeshore Road corridor, adding that the area is set to welcome tens of thousands of new residents over the coming years.
Salt Lake City
Utah Transit has scrapped a proposed LRT extension and is replacing it with bus rapid transit. The Utah Transit Authority, after a year and a half of study, concluded that it would be smarter to build a much less expensive bus rapid transit (BRT) system there instead to connect to other parts of the transit system in the region. “They both would have economic and land-use benefits,” Patti Garver, Point of the Mountain Study project manager told the UTA Board last week. And projected “ridership was similar for both.” put it at up to $1.2 billion or more for a possibly longer line. Also, Garver said a bus rapid transit line could be built more quickly and is less complicated.