BRT – Part 2

Our last blog explained what bus rapid transit (BRT) is and why it’s a good alternative to traditional light rail. We thought it made sense to cite a few examples of how BRT is helping commuters get from Point A to Point B while also cutting traffic and saving money – or in some cases, making money.

Nationally, BRT has resulted in upwards of 400% of return on investment along transit corridors. There are more than a dozen BRT systems being planned throughout the United States. Some of the most noteworthy systems in North America can be found in Cleveland, Ohio, Las Vegas, and Eugene, Oregon, to name a few, while the most state-of-the-art can be found in the York Region of Toronto (VivaNext).

The Cleveland system’s transit stops are iconic along its route – named the HealthLine – with paid naming rights by the Cleveland Clinic. The stations could be mistaken for metro or light rail stops with all the amenities. To top it off, economic growth and density along the HealthLine Corridor has generated billions in development, jobs, and taxes. Specifically, Cleveland’s BRT delivered more than $5.8 billion in economic development in and around the route: a staggering $114.54 gained for every dollar spent on creating and launching the HealthLine. Ridership is thriving. In the six years since opening, the HealthLine has carried more than 29 million riders. Annual ridership has increased about 60 percent over the previous bus line, which the HealthLine replaced in 2008.

Internationally, one of the best BRT systems can be found in Toronto, Canada. In all of their materials describing and marketing their BRT system, they focus on the lifestyle the service provides, not on the BRT itself. But, the most famous BRT system worldwide is located in Bogota, Columbia, which carries 30,000 to 42,000 passengers per hour – not daily, not weekly, but per hour. Evidence that this can accommodate a city of any size.

So many things can be achieved with a great BRT system when properly designed. BRT allows for more transit riders and a more green, sustainable community. Not only can help riders save time and money, but it can also connect more people to jobs and educational opportunities.

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