The Causal Effect of Bus Rapid Transit on Changes in Transit Ridership

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, mode - bus rapid transit, mode - bus, ridership - growth


Bus rapid transit (BRT), transit ridership


Numerous studies have reported ridership increases along routes when Bus rapid transit (BRT) replaces conventional bus service, but these increases could be due simply to broader temporal trends in transit ridership. To address this limitation, we compared changes in ridership among routes where BRT was implemented to routes where BRT was planned or already existed in King County, Washington. Ridership was measured at 2010, 2013, and 2014. Ridership increased by 35% along routes where BRT was implemented from 2010 to 2013 compared to routes that maintained conventional bus service. Ridership increased by 29% along routes where BRT was implemented from 2013 to 2014 compared to consistent existing BRT service. These results provide stronger evidence for a causal relationship between BRT and increased transit ridership and a more accurate estimate of the independent effect of BRT on ridership.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by the Journal of Public Transportation, copyright remains with them.