As cities grow, mobility becomes a necessity and efficient public transport is a key to long-term prosperity. In many cases BRT, a Bus Rapid Transit system, is the ultimate solution. Shorter travel time, reduced congestion, fewer traffic accidents and positive socio-economic effects are just some of its benefits. BRT supports growth – and the population’s quality of life.
When a BRT solution is in place things start to happen instantly. Passengers who choose BRT cut their travel time, in some cases by as much as 50%, and average speed increases for all kinds of traffic along the corridor. This makes BRT a popular choice. A significant share of commuters will therefore choose BRT instead of their private cars, which substantially reduces congestion.
BRT can be implemented in many ways. Even the most basic applications can resolve severe traffic problems, while a full-scale system with double lanes can bring an entire urban district to life.
When cars are taken off the streets a city will see improved air quality, reduced noise and reduced number of accidents. Emissions per passenger drop by up to 90% compared with commuting by car. Traffic accidents along the BRT corridor are reduced substantially. After the TransMilenio network in Bogota, Colombia was opened, in the year 2000, a reduction of 80% was reported. So, BRT means improved quality of life for people in the city, along with immediate socioeconomic benefits.
But the big win comes long-term. After the initial positive effects, a BRT system continues to facilitate city development. With more people on the move, local businesses will prosper, and new enterprises will appear along the corridor. This will result in rising property values, more job opportunities and a stronger local economy.
Volvo has been at the heart of BRT development from the birth of the idea. We have therefore learned how to meet all the different demands, prerequisites and criteria from cities all over the world. We know that each city has different possibilities and requires a solution of its own, and we know what makes BRT a success for the city.
BRT buses run in their own lanes. In extreme cases even double lanes, allowing for express lines on the same route; having a free route ahead makes it possible to operate reliably and punctually.
The biggest Volvo BRT buses can carry close to 300 passengers, comparable to a Boeing 767 jetliner. And on the busiest routes, the frequent departures make having a schedule obsolete – there’s always a bus coming.
Prepayment is a key to efficiency. When the wide doors open up, passengers exit and board swiftly and the average bus stop lasts less than 15 seconds.
Developed BRT systems use platforms with exactly the same height as the bus floor. Boarding is faster for everyone and a lot easier for elderly and functionally disabled persons.
With a traffic management system the passengers always know when the bus will arrive. The same real-time information is shared by passengers, drivers and traffic control.
Experience shows that BRT systems are popular. In many cities they become strong brands, positioned above general bus services. The high occupancy rate also leads to good business. BRT can be profitable without subsidies.
|Length||12 m||Up to 22 m||24–30 m|
|Capacity||Up to 100 passengers||Up to 200 passengers||Up to 300 passengers|
People need affordable and swift transportation. The return on a BRT investment beats all comparable alternatives.
Volvo is the world leader in high-efficiency BRT systems. Today you can find Volvo BRT systems on 6 continents, featuring a wide range of buses, connected services, driver training, service contracts and technical support. Each city requires a solution of its own, often with purpose-built buses for the specific city.
BRT has proven to be a highly cost-efficient way to provide extensive public transport capacity. It is in the long run that you benefit the most from a BRT system. However, even from the very start BRT gives so much more to your city. Construction time is a fraction compared to rail-bound solutions. Furthermore, maintenance and vehicle service are a lot more affordable.
A city can implement efficient mass mobility faster and at a fraction of the cost when choosing a BRT solution. The figures are of course subject to local variations but it is a fact that BRT gives a lot more capacity for a given investment, for example $ 1 billion.
Compared to light rail and metro, BRT is easier and faster to get up and running. And the environmental impact during construction differs too.
Do you want more information? Download the Volvo BRT brochure here.