With little investment required for operating in streets, bus services are often designed to serve many overlapping routes with frequent stops. To upgrade services and attract choice riders, major bus routes should be provided with exclusive lanes, preferential signals, and fewer but more distinct stops. The Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) program is aimed at upgrading bus services into semirapid transit category (technically, bus semirapid transit). Many similar programs in the past were initially successful but later degraded by allowing sharing of lanes by high-occupancy vehicles (HOV) and relaxed enforcement of traffic control. With the systems approach organized for the BRT program, implementation chances will be greatly enhanced. It is expected that a successful BRT program will have a positive impact on many other bus services. Improved bus services should be seen as a significant step to higher-quality, attractive transit services which will represent major lines in smaller cities or complementary lines with rail transit in larger ones.
Vuchic, Vukan R.
Bus Semirapid Transit Mode Development and Evaluation.
Journal of Public Transportation, 5 (2): 71-95.
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jpt/vol5/iss2/4