Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
Advice & Buy

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

The flexible traffic concept.

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a high-quality bus-based transit system that delivers fast, comfortable, and cost-effective mobility services. BRT achieves this thanks to dedicated bus lanes, a fast and high-frequency service and a focus on marketing and customer service.*

Since the first system entered service in the city of Curitiba, Brazil, in 1974, Bus Rapid Transit has enjoyed increasing success worldwide. For BRT there are no standard solutions. Quite on the contrary, one of the essential success factors of the system is its ability to adapt flexibly to the specific conditions of each individual city. Today BRT systems are operated on all the continents and in the most diverse cities – from mega-cities like Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City to smaller European cities like Strasbourg and Nantes in France.

At Mercedes-Benz we are firmly convinced of the benefits offered by BRT as an attractive, cost-efficient transit system for cities all around the world. We want to tell everybody about all the success stories and the advantages of the existing BRT systems in order to increase the popularity of BRT as a particularly economically-efficient mode of transport.

Together with diverse partners and in close cooperation with all concerned, our BRT team of experts accompany city authorities for the development and planning of their BRT systems.

With our broad product portfolio, our experience in the maintenance and after-sales sectors, as well as our customised financing conditions, our integrated approach meets the expectations of our customers.

In relation to the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system Mercedes-Benz applies a comprehensive approach. Thanks to our year-long experience with BRT we are well-acquainted with the factors that lead to success as well as the risks of the system. We offer a comprehensive package consisting of vehicles as well as financing and financing services for BRT projects, which contributes towards the successful introduction of BRT systems.

The introduction of a BRT system is a complex matter as the system design depends on the needs of passengers and operators. External factors such as local legislation, environmental and energy rules and regulations constitute the framework within which the system has to operate.

 

Urban mobility.

Urban mobility.

We know that the requirements for urban mobility differ from one city to another. We know that local authorities and urban planners are the ones who know their city and its specific traffic situation best. At Mercedes-Benz we collect best-practice examples for BRT projects from around the world and study them in terms of their success factors and possible risks. Thanks to our year-long experience we know how BRT systems have been implemented successfully and how potential hurdles have been tackled. We make valuable suggestions and help you to design the system optimally.

The BRT expert team.

The BRT expert team.

The BRT expert team consists of specialists in transport, traffic and urban planning who operate globally. As your partner for customised BRT solutions, we provide support in all aspects of designing and planning, from analysis and development through to implementation. We act as a competent support for your needs, questions and ideas throughout the entire process.
 

 

Since 2008 more than half of the world's population lives in cities. UNO expects this number to increase to about 70 percent by 2050 as the world population increases. The desire by people to be mobile is growing—even in booming metropolitan regions. This challenging situation can no longer be resolved by private transport. BRT provides a way out of the gridlock. 

Short travel times.

Exclusive bus lanes ("busways"), right-of-way at intersections and short dwell times at stations make for attractive travel times.

Cost benefits over other transport systems with comparable capacity.

The infrastructure costs for BRT systems are lower than those for comparable rail-bound means of transport, which frequently require high-cost tunnels or elevated railway structures. BRT systems also benefit from lower operating costs, in particular when maintenance structures and experienced staff from already existing conventional bus systems are available.

Rapid implementation.

BRT systems require detailed planning in order to find the optimum solution for the local framework conditions in each case. However, the experience gleaned from projects from all around the world show that significantly less time is needed for the planning and realisation of BRT systems than for comparable track-bound transit systems.

Flexible in its design and operation.

Bus-based transit systems benefit from the system's high flexibility with respect to infrastructure and operation. The versatility of the bus as a means of transport allows for operating programs in which bus lines leave the BRT transitway to merge with normal road traffic. Dedicated infrastructure only needs to be built where it would potentially generate benefits, and not along the entire corridor.

Improved environmental profile thanks to high efficiency.

Apart from the reduction of local emissions thanks to BRT, when evaluating the environmental friendliness of a means of transport the global emissions need to be considered as well. Dedicated, separate, bus lanes and the priority enjoyed by the vehicles lead to smoother travel with fewer stops and lower fuel consumption. Apart from this, thanks to the high utilization rate of the BRT buses, CO₂ emissions per passenger are very low. The attractive offer that BRT systems make to complement public mobility helps effect a shift towards public transport. BRT systems use modern, environmentally-compatible vehicles that meet the latest exhaust gas standards. In emerging-markets BRT systems often adopt a ground-breaking rôle in respect of new, environmentally-friendly drive system technologies and the latest exhaust emission standards.

  • Short travel times
  • Cost benefits
  • Rapid implementation
  • Flexible
  • Improved environmental

A successful BRT system consists of well-thought-out individual components optimally harmonised with each other. Only with a holistic approach to planning that takes all relevant aspects into account can a BRT system's benefits develop to their full potential.

Dedicated lanes.

Dedicated lanes.

The exclusive bus lanes are the most conspicuous element of a BRT system. Independence from ...

Dedicated lanes.

The exclusive bus lanes are the most conspicuous element of a BRT system. Independence from all other traffic enables high travel speeds and great operational reliability – to the passengers' entire satisfaction.

Priority switching.

Priority switching.

An important element that helps attain a high travel speed is the use of state-of-the-art ...

Priority switching.

An important element that helps attain a high travel speed is the use of state-of-the-art "ITS" (Intelligent Transport Systems). This system prioritises buses at traffic lights, allowing them to pass intersections without loss of time.

Barrier-free access.

Barrier-free access.

BRT stations offer a stepless entry to the vehicle enabling rapid boarding and exit as well ...

Barrier-free access.

BRT stations offer a stepless entry to the vehicle enabling rapid boarding and exit as well as easier access for reduced-mobility passengers. In Europe, North America and most Asian cities BRT stations are designed for low-floor buses. Special kerbstones allow bus drivers to dock at precisely-defined points at the stations. Most BRT systems in Latin America, on the other hand, favour stations with raised platforms that likewise permit same-level access to high-floor buses which are especially maintenance-friendly and high-capacity.

Pre-ticketing.

Pre-ticketing.

Tickets for the BRT systems are sold off-board, at the stations instead of on-board the bus. This ...

Pre-ticketing.

Tickets for the BRT systems are sold off-board, at the stations instead of on-board the bus. This reduces the time spent at the stations and thus, provides more efficient travel times. BRT systems are flexible both in terms of the choice of ticket system and also in respect of ticket checking. This enables the implementation of both open and closed ticket systems.

Intermodal connections.

Intermodal connections.

BRT lines are a part of a public transport network with different transport modes ...

Intermodal connections.

BRT lines are a part of a public transport network with different transport modes generally well-coordinated to each other.

Latin American BRT systems often consist of trunk lines operating in a dense schedule with articulated buses, and feeder lines that bring passengers from the suburbs to transfer terminals.

Apart from being optimally linked with other public transport modes, European and North-American systems often have P+R (Park and Ride) or B+R (Bike and Ride) places and bicycle rental systems near the bus stop.

BRT vehicles.

BRT vehicles.

The buses used in BRT systems are adapted to the specific requirements of each system. These ...

BRT vehicles.

The buses used in BRT systems are adapted to the specific requirements of each system. These adaptations include the drive system technology, the size and the floor height of the bus as well as its overall design.

Most of the systems in operation around the world employ diesel-engine powered buses. However, the system's flexibility allows the use of the most diverse drive system technologies. All around the world, articulated buses have proven the best option for BRT systems. Extra-long buses can additionally provide an increased carrying capacity.

The first BRT system originated in Latin America in the 1970s, when rapid growth in urban populations began causing tremendous problems for urban traffic. The combination of tremendous demand for transport services and insufficient financial means cried out for an innovative solution. A new cost-effective transport system was thus developed which enables mobility for all sectors of the population and has meanwhile won recognition worldwide. The success of BRT has contributed to expansion of this system worldwide, so that today over 160 BRT systems are in operation and many more systems are either under construction or in the planning phase. Mercedes-Benz buses are successfully operating in BRT systems all around the world, ranging from extra long articulated buses to minibuses providing feeder services. Together with our experience with maintenance and spare part procurement, as well as tailor-made financing solutions, Mercedes-Benz buses contribute decisively to the success of the BRT system.

An example of a successful European BRT solution for medium-sized cities.

An example of a successful BRT solution in a Eurasian metropolis.
 

An example of a successful BRT solution covering the transport demand during and after major sport events.

Life is diverse - and so is BRT.

Richard Mejía

Manager BRT

Richard Mejía

Phone: +49 711 17 99096
richard.mejia@daimler.com

*Source: ITDP (2007), Bus Rapid Transit – Planning Guide, 3rd Edition, New York