Institutional and Regulatory Options for Bus Rapid Transit in Developing Countries: Lessons from International Experience


Walter Hook

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - service quality, mode - bus, mode - bus rapid transit


Under developed countries, Third world, Service quality, Routing, Regulatory reform, Quality of service, Private sector, Private enterprise, Passenger service quality, Less developed countries, Institutional issues, Developing countries, Bus rapid transit


An increasing number of cities are looking at bus rapid transit (BRT) as a lower-cost alternative to meeting their mass transit needs. Less fully explored, however, has been the link between BRT and the implementation of transit system regulatory reforms. In a growing number of cities around the world, the introduction of a BRT system has also been used to implement some important long-term transit-sector reforms. Because BRT makes bus operations more profitable, the introduction of BRT gives the municipality additional leverage to demand more from private operators. This paper discusses how, in an increasing number of cities, BRT projects have been used to (a) facilitate a smooth transition to a sometimes more efficient trunk-and-feeder or hub-and-spoke bus routing system, (b) increase private-sector investment in the transit system, and (c) change private bus operating contracts to include quality-of-service requirements.