Conventional wisdom asserts that rail does a better job of spurring transit-oriented development than a bus rapid transit line, but until now no one has quantified the return on investment with a BRT line. A new study released by ITDP this week attempts to quantify the TOD potential of these transit options and find that, “Per dollar of transit investment, and under similar conditions, Bus Rapid Transit leverages more transit-oriented development investment than Light Rail Transit or streetcars.”
Although there is no official definition of BRT, but some key elements have emerged as cities explore this transit option. It can speed commutes, attract high ridership, and promote economic development. However, proper marketing of BRT, both during the planning and after the line is operational, is key to success.