Bus Rapid Transit in New York City: Corridor Evaluation and Screening

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, land use - planning, economics - appraisal/evaluation, economics - benefits, place - urban, mode - bus, mode - subway/metro, mode - bus rapid transit


Urban transit, Urban planning, Urban areas, Transportation corridors, Traffic corridors, Town planning, Operational tests, New York City, New York (New York), Metropolitan area planning, Implementation, Evaluation and assessment, Demonstration projects, Corridors (Transportation), Corridor planning, Community planning, City planning, Bus rapid transit, Benefits


Selecting corridors for implementing bus rapid transit (BRT) projects in most communities is relatively straightforward; however, in cities such as New York, this is far more complicated because of the large numbers of corridors with many characteristics compatible with BRT provision. This paper describes the framework developed to evaluate and screen corridors in New York City for five demonstration BRT projects. A mechanism was identified to reduce the number of candidate corridors from 80 to 36 at an early stage. An evaluation framework building on the previous work and detailed field observations further refined the list from 36 corridors to 15. The evaluation included two key considerations: the potential benefits of BRT implementation in a given corridor and the potential ease of implementation of BRT in that corridor. The study team defined a series of measures to reflect these key considerations (four measures for each). The relative ranking of the 36 corridors showed how each corridor performed with respect to these measures. The results of the evaluation yielded the 15 corridors that moved to the conceptual development phase of the study. This paper describes the steps taken in reducing the universe of candidate corridors for BRT implementation and provides a sequential, transparent, and cost-effective approach to the issue of corridor identification that can be applied in any urban area.