What is BRT?

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is “a rapid mode of transportation that can provide the quality of rail transit and the flexibility of buses.”

BRT is helping cities across the world combat congestion and improve mobility. In North America, BRT systems are up and running in cities from Los Angeles to Cleveland, Las Vegas, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, and Boston, with plans for BRT service in dozens of other cities including Chicago. New York City has a “BRT-lite” system called Select Bus Service. You can watch several short films about BRT over at Streetfilms.

Unlike traditional buses, which are often slow and unreliable, BRT employs the latest in bus and station technology and puts buses in special lanes so that they can travel congestion free, on rail-like routes.

BRT means faster travel, greater reliability and improved customer convenience and information.

BRT provides all the mobility of rail, in regions without the density to support rail systems, at a fraction of the capital costs.

World class BRT systems include the following features:

Congestion Free Routes

  • Specially designated, bus-only lanes
  • Barrier-separated dedicated bus lanes
  • Curb-side or median-side
  • Bus-only roads or highways


  • Well-designed, enhancing the local streetscape
  • Real-time arrival information
  • Bigger stops may attract development, including retail and other amenities.


  • Vehicle tracking allows real-time bus arrival information
  • Special signals give buses priority at stoplights
  • Real-time monitoring of traffic to reduce bus bunching


  • Pre-paid boarding and innovative fare collection technology
  • Frequent rush hour service
  • Buses can run both in the protected lanes and also on local streets, allow for a one-seat ride to more destinations
  • Routing tailored to the time of day an day of the week

Watch a short video about BRT:  http://www.streetfilms.org/mba-bus-rapid-transit/