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bus rapid transit

n. (context transport English) A form of rapid transit using buses, which have dedicated rights-of-way or laneways, purpose-built bus stations, and dedicated traffic signalling.

Bus rapid transit

Bus rapid transit (BRT, BRTS, busway) is a bus-based mass transit system that meets certain conditions. A true BRT system generally has specialized design, services and infrastructure to improve system quality and remove the typical causes of delay. Sometimes described as a "surface subway", BRT aims to combine the capacity and speed of light rail or metro with the flexibility, lower cost and simplicity of a bus system.

To be considered BRT, buses should operate for a significant part of their journey within a fully dedicated right of way ( busway) to avoid traffic congestion. In addition, a true BRT system has most of the following elements:

  • Alignment in the center of the road (to avoid typical curb-side delays)
  • Stations with off-board fare collection (to reduce boarding and alighting delay related to paying the driver)
  • Station platforms level with the bus floor and multiple bus doors for entry (to reduce boarding and alighting delay caused by steps and queueing)
  • Bus priority at intersections (to avoid intersection signal delay)

The first BRT system was the Rede Integrada de Transporte ('Integrated Transportation Network') in Curitiba, Brazil, which entered service in 1974. This inspired many similar systems around Brazil and the world, such as TransMilenio in Bogotá, Colombia, which opened in 2000. , 186 cities in six continents have implemented BRT systems, accounting for of BRT lanes. It is estimated that about 31.7 million passengers use BRT worldwide everyday, of which about 19.7 million passengers ride daily in Latin America, which has the most cities with BRT systems, with 60, led by Brazil with 33 cities.

The many differences and distinct features among existing BRT systems motivated the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy to form a BRT Standard Technical Committee in 2011, and to do further work in 2013. The ITDP set a minimum definition of what features must be part of a system to qualify as BRT, and created a BRT Standard to rate existing systems.