What is Bus Rapid Transit?
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), is a high-quality, high-speed form of transit that provides the same service and amenities as light rail but at a much lower cost to implement. BRT uses specialized rubber-tire vehicles that can operate on city streets or in dedicated lanes.
How is BRT different from local bus service?
BRT uses a handful of technological and infrastructural improvements to decrease boarding times, bypass auto congestion and experience fewer red lights. With these improvements, specialized BRT vehicles are able to travel faster, more comfortably and with greater on-time reliability.
There are two street configurations that BRT can use:
Dedicated Lanes - where the BRT vehicle has its own lane adjacent to the median and stations are located in the median. Since the BRT vehicle isn't bogged down by auto traffic, this configuration allows for the fastest transit travel time and best on-time reliability.
Mixed Flow - where the
bus operates in the right lane, with auto traffic and uses curb bulbout stations. Curb bulbouts extend the curb and station to the edge of the travel lane, displacing on-street parking in the station area. BRT vehicles stop in the traffic lane to pick up passengers.
Faster boarding - In both street configurations, passengers purchase tickets from the ticket vending machine located at the station or use a pass. When the BRT vehicle arrives at the station, passengers board and exit through any of the three doors. Unless there is a special circumstance, each stop should take less than 20 seconds.
Faster travel speeds - BRT vehicles take advantage of transit signal priority. That is, when a BRT vehicle approaches an intersection on a green light, it communicates with sensors that instruct the signal to stay green for a few additional seconds so the BRT vehicle may pass through. BRT vehicles arriving on a red light must wait for the next green. Reducing delays from red lights, speeding up the boarding process and using dedicated lanes in certain areas allow the BRT vehicles to travel faster and offer a better experience to current riders and help to attract new riders.
Nicer Amenities - BRT stations will be more substantial than existing bus shelters and will feature weather protection, real-time information, more seating, better lighting, security cameras, information displays and Clipper Card tap stations. BRT vehicles will feature free onboard WiFi.
Increased Frequency - BRT vehicles will operate at 10-minute frequencies (compared to the current 12-minute frequency of the 522 Rapid Bus).