Defining BRT

Bus rapid transit varies from one metropolitan area to another, but generally has the following characteristics: First, BRT vehicles enjoy priority treatment, usually through a dedicated busway and also through preferential treatment at traffic signals and through other systems on arterial streets. Second, BRT is significantly faster than standard bus service, thanks in many instances to dedicated lanes, priority at signals, fare collection away from the vehicle, fast boarding through rail-like stations, and time-saving spacing between stations. Often the stations are a half-mile to a mile apart, says Bill Vincent at the BRT Policy Center. Third, the system offers a quality and image comparable to light rail, with comfortable vehicles and stations and with frequent service over a route structure that connects major activity centers.