Position Papers
George Gray, Norman Kelley and Tom Larwin
Published in
Submitted by
Peter Midgley, gTKP
Related theme(s)
Urban Mobility
USA and Canada (USC)
United States of America

Bus Rapid Transit: A Handbook for Partners

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a maturing mode with proven operational experience in many parts of the world. BRT is universally accepted, offers a potentially cost-effective transportation mode that bridges a capital cost gap between regular bus service and light rail transit, and can deliver services with features that normally are found only with rail service. Many systems have been evaluated in the United States and from around the world. This handbook draws on those experiences and pulls them together to clarify the service and infrastructure characteristics that define BRT. However, this is not a technical manual. Rather, this document strives to inform Caltrans staff and others what elements constitute a BRT system, while addressing Caltrans’ role with its partners considering BRT features as an alternative on or supplement to the State Highway System. Lessons learned from BRT case study experiences in California are summarized. This handbook also is intended for use by Caltrans professionals, elected officials, local jurisdictions, transit operating and planning agencies, and the general public to understand Caltrans’ role in BRT development, both on and off the State Highway System. To aid in the understanding, the respective roles and responsibilities for the various partners are outlined. Finally, technical information about many BRT and rapid bus projects in California, along with a summary of international experiences, are included in the Appendix.