This morning I looked into my crystal ball and I foresaw an epic, week-long discussion about all things BRT. I could be wrong, but if I’m right I think it would benefit all of us to take a bit of time to refresh our knowledge. In this vein I created a list of articles I have been reading relating to BRT over the last few weeks as well as some scholarly reports and practitioner guides. Please share info you have as well but only if it relates to BRT, and is not a comparison of whether BRT or rail is better. Comments along those lines are off-topic. We can have that discussion later this week but please not in this post. Thanks.
So here is my list.
Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) is probably the most authoritative source on transit related research. Its mission is to aid practitioners in making informed and fact based decisions. TCRP has 3 relevant reports on this subject, all of which are worth a quick skim over. At the very least take a look at the tables.
- TCRP Report 90 Volume 1: Case Studies
- TCRP Report 20 Volume 2: Implementation Guide
- TCRP Report 118: BRT Practitioners Guide
More after the jump
Also the always thought provoking Jarrett over at Human Transit has had an ongoing discussion with his readers about BRT, with a particular eye to the different international models. Each country has its own flavor. In general South American countries have boulevard-based high-capacity busways, while grade-separated systems generally predominate in Australia and Canada, something in between but generally high quality dominates in Europe, with the US mostly using stylized buses, TSP, and improved stations. There are notable exceptions to this rule with, Swift probably being one of them.
This discussion continued yesterday with its attention shifting to Swift. To make the most sense of the discussion I would suggest reading them in order.
- brisbane: bus rapid transit soars
- bus rapid transit followup
- bus-rail debates in a beautiful abstract city, and in los angeles
- “bus rapid transit”: getting past the trauma
- bus rapid transit and the law of multiple intentions
- bus rapid transit: some questions to ask
- bus rapid transit: notes from a pro
- north of seattle: snohomish county’s “swift” bus rapid transit
- bus rapid transit stop spacing: is 2 miles too far?
Here is some research done by my advisor at KTH in Sweden. He is creating a BRT rating system which I think is sorely needed. A good example for rating systems like this are LEED, which has revolutionized green building by assigning building different levels, from LEED certified to LEED Platinum. By creating a measurement structure developers have a way to show that their building is very green while other buildings are just being green washed. In the absence of rating system this is not easily possible and thus there is a constant pressure to relax quality to cut costs, while there is no equivalent pressure to increase quality.
Bus with High Level of Service (BHLS) is an European concept roughly related to BRT but without the assertion that it will necessarily be rapid. This concept can also be referred to as a “Trunk Bus”.
Transportation Research Board has a paper on Transit Signal Priority. Its a bit long so it is best to pick the parts that are most important and skim those sections. Or you can just read the second paper which is an overview.
The National BRT Institute has a good number of documents include a few related TCRP reports that I didn’t included above. I’m sure there are some good reference documents I’m missing.