Bus Rapid Transit: Projects Improve Transit Service and can Contribute to Economic Development [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Highlights: "BRT [Bus Rapid Transit] is a form of transit that has generated interest around the world to help alleviate the adverse effects of traffic congestion and potentially contribute to economic growth. BRT features can include improvements to infrastructure, technology, and passenger amenities over standard bus service to improve service and attract new riders. The use of federal funding for BRT in the United States has increased since 2005, when the Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users expanded eligibility for major capital projects under [Federal Transit Administration] FTA's Capital Investment Grant Program to include corridor-based bus projects. BRT projects can be funded through New, Small, and Very Small Start grants under the Capital Investment Grant Program. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to examine (1) features included in BRT projects funded by the FTA; (2) BRT project performance in terms of ridership and service and how they compare to rail transit projects; (3) how BRT-projects' costs differ from rail transit project costs; and (4) the extent to which BRT projects provide economic development and other benefits. To address these objectives, GAO sent questionnaires to officials of all 20 existing BRT and 20 existing rail-transit projects that the FTA recommended for funding from fiscal year 2005 through 2012 to collect information on project features, ridership, and service and interviewed select project sponsors. GAO also reviewed documents and interviewed government, academic, and industry group officials. The U.S. Department of Transportation did not comment on the draft report."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/