Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Bus Rapid Transit v. Light Rail

The people over at Worldchanging have conducted an interview with a team of researchers at the World Resources Institute (WRI) on what's the smarter solution for bringing mobility to 21st century cities: is it bus rapid transit (BRT) or light rail?

Questions include:

Julia Levitt: In your study, you found that BRT outperformed light rail in cutting overall CO2 emissions. How did you come to that conclusion?

Critics of your report have pointed out that in North America, many people own cars, which gives them a choice that many riders overseas don't have, and that people who have the choice of driving a personal vehicle are often inclined to find light rail cars an acceptable alternative, but are less likely to ride buses. What's your take on this argument?

Although your report shows that BRT will cost about half the amount of a light rail system, other studies show that light rail systems, because they are permanent structures, do more to encourage transit-oriented development. Was TOD a factor in the EMBARQ study? Do you think that BRT can facilitate and encourage dense development at a similar level?

For the whole interview go to - 'Worldchanging Interview: WRI on Bus Rapid Transit v. Light Rail'


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