Bus commuters can often suffer the same issue facing drivers – being stuck in traffic. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) combines the performance, speed, and reliability of rail, with the flexibility and substantially lower cost of buses. The most robust BRT systems are characterized by features including a bus-only lane separated by a center median to avoid congestion, elevated boarding stations, pre-payment systems, and specially timed traffic lights. At the least, BRT buses should operate for a significant part of their journey within a fully dedicated right of way to avoid traffic congestion.
Currently, Latin America has 60 cities with BRT systems, and there are 33 cities in Brazil alone with BRT systems. According to the Institute for Transportation and Development, the U.S. has only five systems that meet the minimum standards to be considered bus rapid transit lines, but more are on the way. So, BRT may become shorthand for “Be Right There.”