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BRT Standard

ITDP Africa


The BRT Standard is an evaluation tool for BRT corridors based on international best practices. It is also the centerpiece of a global effort by leaders in bus rapid transit design to establish a common definition of BRT and to ensure that BRT corridors more uniformly deliver world-class passenger experiences, significant economic benefits, and positive environmental impacts. The Standard functions as a planning tool, a scoring system, and a means of achieving a common definition of BRT. By defining the essential elements of BRT, it provides a framework for system designers, decision makers, and the sustainable-transport community to identify and implement high-quality BRT corridors. The BRT Standard celebrates cities that are leading the way in BRT excellence and offers best practice-based guidance to those planning a system. Certifying a BRT corridor as basic BRT, bronze, silver, or gold places it within the hierarchy of international best practices. Cities with certified BRT corridors are beacons of progress that have adopted a cutting-edge form of mass transit, elevating urban transport to a new level of excellence while making communities more livable, competitive, and sustainable. The elements that receive points in the BRT Standard have been evaluated by BRT experts in a wide variety of contexts. When present, these elements result in consistently improved system performance and have a positive impact on ridership. Being certified as gold or silver, however, does not necessarily imply that a corridor is costly or complicated, since many BRT features are low cost or even no cost. Even relatively simple systems can achieve a high score if care is given to design decisions. From Belo Horizonte, Brazil, to Yichang, China, cities that have built gold-standard BRT have seen significant benefits to commuters, revitalized city centers, and better air quality. As we continue to clarify and elevate the standards to which all BRT corridors are built, more people will experience the convenience and comfort of this cutting-edge mode of transport, and more cities will reap the benefits of an efficient and cost-effective mass-transit system. We hope that helping define and recognize good-quality BRT will bring about the fundamental change needed to shift people out of their cars through modern and sustainable BRT. To better meet this goal, the 2016 Standard has an increased focus on operations and safety, to ensure that corridors ranked highly using the BRT Standard continue to deliver high-quality service to passengers.
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