Benefits of BRT
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

Benefits of BRT

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. 

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.