The Overhead Wire Blog had this good post about BRT myths and reality. Basically, he’s said what I have been saying, that BRT is basically just plain bus unless you spend so much money that you might as well make rail anyway.

The really important thing is that, generally, when you are promised BRT, you ended up with something about like the 545: an absolutely awesome bus line, but one that still gets stuck in some of the worst traffic in the region. Not a lot like a system that can bypass traffic and cross similar distances in eight or nine minutes rather than the 30 minutes it takes the 545.

The money quote is this one:

10. I will continue this list at some point because i haven’t really made half the points i’d like to but the bottom line is this. BRT is just bus repackaged transit pushed by folks that don’t really like transit to begin with. They want it to stay for the poor so why not give the poor a third world system. Well we need to step up and invest like China, Japan, and Europe.

4 Replies to “BRT”

  1. Interesting I tend to agree, although BRT is confusing and the true definition by any one person can vary. Something like transit now is supposed to be BRT, but I believe it isn’t the true version where the bus is completely separated from traffic. I think some things can really add to a regular bus system that can make that run effectively. For example Seattle has the Transit Tunnel underground. I think that really makes the bus system move more effectively. Sound Transit has made on ramps and off ramps on certain freeways much better to improve timing and better access to riders. I do think BRT is more flashy and sounds better to the politicians so they can propose that while hiding from getting real transit issues solved. I mean after all it is their reputation on the line. It is unfortunate that politics and transit have to be grouped.

  2. Another thing I don’t get really is the association with transit and poor people. Why does status always have to be brought up. I guess I understand general trends. I wonder if people label me as poor when I get off a bus?

  3. I pity anyone who labels someone as poor just because of a choice like riding the bus.

    You don’t want judgemental people like that’s approval anyway!

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