Title

BUS RAPID TRANSIT TECHNOLOGIES IN THE AMERICAS: AN OVERVIEW

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2000

Subject Area

infrastructure - station, infrastructure - vehicle, planning - service quality, planning - signage/information, technology - passenger information, mode - bus, mode - bus rapid transit

Keywords

Vehicle design, Transitways, Transit buses, Technology, Signalling, Signaling, Service quality, Quality of service, Passenger service quality, Passenger information systems, Innovation, Guideways, Fare collection, Dispatching, Control systems, Computerized control systems, Computer control systems, Bus terminals, Bus stations, Bus rapid transit

Abstract

Results from a survey of international bus rapid transit (BRT) systems reveal a wide range of technology options for implementing a BRT system. Eight BRT systems (seven existing and one under development) in North and South America demonstrate innovative applications of five bus technology components--vehicles, guideways and stations, control systems (dispatching and signaling), fare systems, and passenger information systems. These innovative applications, combined with fundamental changes in operating plans and the customer interface, provide a mode distinct from conventional bus transit. This preliminary phase of the survey found that guideway improvements are the most common strategy to move from conventional to rapid transit service. Innovations in vehicle design, control system technology, and fare system technology are also commonly used. All the surveyed systems demonstrate isolated innovation in passenger information systems technology. These technology applications were primarily directed toward improving the speed, reliability, and user-friendliness of service.