BRT. You will likely be hearing this acronym a lot more in coming months. BRT stands for Bus Rapid Transit, and in many circles, it is considered the future of urban transportation. It provides frequent, reliable service, and is cheaper to build and run than light rail.
BRT is used all over the world in places like Brisbane, Australia; Curitiba, Brazil; and Bogota, Colombia. It’s also used in Chicago, Boston and other U.S. cities, including Jacksonville, Fla., where the transportation authority broke ground on a new BRT system in November 2014. In fact, one of Jacksonville’s new buses was on display at our open house on Dec. 8, as it was en route from California to its new home!
The Recommended Wake County Transit Plan includes about 20 miles of BRT-related infrastructure improvements. Four initial corridors have been identified, along Western Boulevard, Capital Boulevard, New Bern Avenue and South Wilmington Street.
What’s great about BRT is that it provides frequent service and reliable schedules. It uses several techniques to keep buses on schedule, such as:
- Dedicated bus lanes;
- Priority treatment at traffic signals; and
- Station-like stops with ticket machines to speed boarding and make it easier for passengers with wheelchairs, strollers or bicycles to get on and off the bus.
Take a look at these videos to get a better sense of how BRT works. It’s fun to see it operating in other places and know it could be running here in the future.