Bus Rapid Transit in Chicago - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Bus Rapid Transit in Chicago

Last week, the CTA held a series of public open houses to present the city’s proposal of a new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network in Chicago.

Cities around the world are turning to bus rapid transit as a way to help alleviate congestion problems

In the spring of 2008, the CTA received preliminary approval to apply for a $153 million grant from USDOT to help implement a series of four bus rapid transit (BRT) demonstration projects in Chicago.  BRT is a uniquely branded bus network, unlike Chicago’s existing system, that would offer an additional, better, and more reliable transit choice for riders.  To better understand the benefits of BRT, as well as the city’s proposal, last week, the CTA held a series of public open houses and launched a new bus rapid transit resource page with frequently asked questions on its website.


BRT buses travel in a dedicated lane and use signal prioritization technology to extend a green light, allowing a bus to travel quickly through the corridor. These unique BRT characteristics improve the reliability of mass transit by 25 to 30 percent.  Compared to heavy or light rail, BRT is eight times cheaper to implement than a new rail network and yet still provides the accessibility and quality transit services that customers need.  Because the BRT fleet is equipped with GPS technology and real-time information at BRT stations, customers know if they have time to pick up their morning paper and not miss their bus.  Its uniquely branded design, comfortable interior, and improved operating speeds make BRT an attractive addition to Chicago’s existing public transportation network.


Written comments and questions will be accepted by the CTA through October 9, 2008. View CTA’s Bus Rapid Transit Open House presentation.


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