BRT in Brazil: Designing services in function of given infrastructure projects or designing infrastructure in function of established service quality patterns?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - south america, place - urban, mode - bus rapid transit, planning - network design, planning - service quality, operations - reliability, land use - planning


Public transport, BRT, Bus corridor, Network design


The present paper analyses the recent investments in BRT and BHLS corridors in Brazil, as well the respective decision and implementation process. After a brief evaluation of the Brazilian BRT program, alternatives to the traditional BRT projects are discussed, where quality goals are defined in first place for the major routes and, done this, the minimal infrastructure investments are established, with the aim of ensuring a gain in overall travel time and reliability. The case of the BRS System (the Brazilian acronym for BHLS) in Rio de Janeiro is used as a contrast case for the traditional BRT projects. The second and main part is dedicated to the Brazilian Capital City Brasilia, where public transport has been for long time neglected, but has implemented a BRT line, which has been source for more trouble than success. The paper discusses not only the circumstances of this investment project, but also other needed measures in order to restore the overall public transport service network that may ensure success of this investment and of others in the time to come. A new system that combines BRT and BRS and other managing reforms is proposed. Unfortunately, after a an auspicious beginning, the initiative stranded in few months. The hypothetic reasons for the pitfall are sketched and new topics for the research agenda on the BRT/BHLS issue is exposed.


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


Research in Transportation Economics Home Page: