Top urban news, trends and reports curated for the world’s city leaders. Edited by David Hatch

Bus rapid transit expands to 180 cities

Bus-rapid transit began in Curitiba, Brazil (above) 40 years ago. The idea is now popular across Latin America and Europe and is expanding rapidly in Asia. (marioardo59/flickr/cc)

Around the world, a dozen bus-rapid transit systems have opened since April, Luísa Zottis reports in The City Fix. That brings the total reach of these transit systems to 180 municipalities worldwide, serving 31.5 million passengers a day.

Zottis attributes BRT’s success to “relatively low barriers to implementation,” which include costs that typically come in at a fraction of that of rail systems. Hallmarks of BRT systems include features such as dedicated rights of way for buses to move fast and stations that allow passengers to board easily and pay fares before they get on.

The concept was pioneered 40 years ago by Jaime Lerner, former mayor of Curitiba, Brazil. Today, 59 cities in Latin America and 51 in Europe offer the service, according to a global BRT database produced in conjunction with the site’s publisher, Embarq.

Beijing, Guangzhou and New Delhi are among 36 cities with BRT in Asia, which the article describes as “the next big market.” There are 25 BRT networks in North America, but only three in Africa: Lagos, Cape Town and Johannesburg, the database says.

In addition to Embarq, the database is operated by the International Energy AgencyLatin American Association of Integrated Transport Systems and BRT, and Across Latitudes and Cultures - Bus Rapid Transit,  a Santiago, Chile-based research center.

In March, Citiscope interviewed Walter Hook, one of the world’s leading experts on BRT and the co-author of the Bus Rapid Transit Planning Guide, about new directions for BRT around the world. Read the Q&A here.



The City Fix

More from Citiscope

Latest Commentary

This story is tagged under: