The demand performance of bus rapid transit


Graham Currie

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - performance, ridership - demand, organisation - performance, mode - bus, mode - bus rapid transit


This article uses a trip attribute approach to examine the relative passenger attractiveness of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems compared to other transit modes. It examines how passengers value trip attributes for on-street bus, BRT, and light rail and heavy rail systems in passenger behavior research. Empirical data is presented which suggests that passengers value trip attributes for BRT and rail modes in a broadly similar manner. All of these transit modes are favored relative to on-street bus. These findings suggest that BRT systems should be as effective as rail in generating patronage when developed to replace on-street bus services. This conclusion, in association with research demonstrating lower costs for BRT systems compared to rail, may be used to claim cost effectiveness advantages for BRT. However, a number of limitations in the evidence are identified and additional research suggested. Conclusions of the research are also used to suggest ways to improve BRT system design to enhance demand performance.


Permission to publish the abstract given by the Journal of Public Transportation.