Impact of “light” bus rapid transit (BRT-light) on traffic and emissions in a travel corridor

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus rapid transit, mode - car, place - north america, place - urban, ridership - growth, infrastructure - busway, technology - emissions, operations - traffic, land use - impacts


Bus rapid transit (BRT), emissions, traffic volume


Our study compared observed traffic volumes in the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT-Light) corridor to those predicted using two different quasi-experimental methods. The first quasi-experimental design, referred to as interrupted time series, assumes the trends in traffic on BRT alignment from 2013 to 2017 continue through to 2019 after BRT-Light is in place. Making that assumption, traffic volume on the BRT alignment is 2514 vehicles per day lower (−7.38%) than one would expect based on the preexisting trend. The second quasi-experimental design is called a before-after design with a control group, which assumes that traffic volume on the BRT route would increase by the same percentage as traffic on parallel streets to the BRT line, that is 2.30 percent or 645 VPD between before and after. Also, BRT alignment's traffic volume was reduced by 1249 VPD or 4.78 percent more rather than outside of BRT corridor, and 17,632 VPD or 9.33 percent considering trip generation. Meanwhile, transit ridership in the corridor increased by 8687 passengers per day (122.66%) more than expected with the introduction of BRT, which helps account for the effective reduction of vehicular traffic on the streets that comprise the BRT alignment. Through the section analysis, we found that dedicated right-of-way reduced traffic effectively. Our estimates suggest that BRT-Light will result in an annual reduction of 17,886,229 pounds of CO2 emissions and 914,614 gallons of gasoline consumption. Based on these results, we conclude that BRT-Light had a positive effect on easing vehicle traffic volume and emissions in the Provo-Orem metropolitan area.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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