Bus rapid transit: like a subway, only cheaper

Summary:Originating in South America, bus rapid transit systems are fast and efficient. Find out how they work.

A bus is a bus, right? Wrong.

The latest video from Streetfilms' "Moving Beyond the Automobile" series shows how bus rapid transit can be a more effective mode of transportation than traditional buses.

"A bus rapid transit system is essentially a way of creating a subway or metro quality service and speed using buses and special stations," said Walter Hook, executive director of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.

So how exactly is BRT different from traditional buses?

1. Exclusive lanes that are separated from other traffic.

2. Stations are on platforms that are on the same level as the bus. You pay when you enter the station rather than on the bus.

3. Buses have priority at intersections.

Bus rapid transit originated in South America, and according to Hook, the best BRT systems in the world can still be found in places like Curitiba, Brazil and Bogota, Colombia.

Watch the video to learn more and see a BRT system in action:

Moving Beyond the Automobile: Bus Rapid Transit from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Photo: Edgar Zuniga Jr./Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation

About

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter.

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