The National Academies

TCRP A-23 [Completed]

Implementation Guidelines for Bus Rapid Transit Systems

  Project Data
Funds: $249,980
Research Agency: DMJM-HARRIS
Principal Investigator: Sam Zimmerman
Effective Date: 5/24/2000
Completion Date: 5/30/2003

TCRP Report 90: Bus Rapid Transit, which is published as a two-volume set identifies, the potential range of bus rapid transit (BRT) applications through 26 case studies and provides planning and implementation guidelines for BRT. This report will be useful to policy-makers, chief executive officers, senior managers, and planners.

Increasing levels of urban congestion create the need for new transportation solutions. A creative, emerging public transit solution is BRT. While a precise definition of BRT is elusive, it is generally understood to include bus services that are, at a minimum, faster than traditional "local bus" service and that, at maximum, include grade-separated bus operations. The essential features of BRT systems are some form of bus priority, faster passenger boarding, faster fare collection, and a system image that is uniquely identifiable. BRT represents a way to improve mobility at relatively low cost through incremental investment in a combination of bus infrastructure, equipment, operational improvements, and technology.

Despite the potential cost and mobility benefits, however, the transportation profession lacks a consolidated and generally accepted set of principles for planning, designing, and operating BRT vehicles and facilities. Transit agencies need guidance on how to successfully implement BRT in the political, institutional, and operational context of the United States. Volume 1: Case Studies in Bus Rapid Transit provides information on the potential range of BRT applications, planning and implementation background, and system description, including the operations and performance elements. Volume 2: Implementation Guidelines, discusses the main components of BRT and describes BRT concepts, planning considerations, key issues, the system development process, desirable conditions for BRT, and general planning principles. It also provides an overview of system types.

    This report was prepared by Herbert Levinson of New Haven, Connecticut; Samuel Zimmerman, Jennifer Clinger, and James Gast of DMJM+HARRIS in Fairfax, Virginia; Scott Rutherford of Seattle, Washington; and Eric Bruhn of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
      Both volumes issued under TCRP Report 90 can be found on the TRB website at national academies.org/trb.

      Status: This report is published in two volumes as TCRP Report 90: Bus Rapid Transit, Volume 1: Case Studies in Bus Rapid Transit and Volume 2: Implementation Guidelines.

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