The ridership performance of the built environment for BRT systems: Evidence from Latin America

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - south america, mode - bus rapid transit, ridership - demand, ridership - modelling, land use - transit oriented development, land use - impacts, land use - planning


Built environment, Bus rapid transit (BRT), Demand, Transit-oriented development, Latin America


Despite the increasing popularity of BRT worldwide, there is a lack of empirical evidence regarding the built environment characteristics that determine BRT ridership. We examine associations between BRT station level demand and built environment attributes for 120 stations in seven Latin American cities. Using direct ridership models, we study whether underlying built environment factors identified using factor analysis and the package of these factors embodied in station “types” identified using cluster analysis were associated with higher ridership. Of the nine factors identified, those describing compactness with dominant multifamily residential uses and stations with public and institutional land uses along the corridor were positively associated with ridership, while factors describing single-family residential developmentaway from the CBD were negatively associated with ridership. Thirteen station types were identified, of which six were associated with BRT ridership. Relevant station types for ridership included those with a high mixture of land uses, the presence of institutional uses and public facilities, major transfer nodes in peripheral areas, and stations with a strong pedestrian environment. Taken together, our findings suggest that the mix and dominance of various land uses around the stop, the location of BRT stations relative to the CBD, the developable land around the station, and the integration of the station to the urban fabric are important characteristics that determine BRT ridership. These insights will help substantiate the case for prioritizing-built environment changes as a means to build more prosperous and sustainable mass transit systems.


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


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