January 12, 2012

Bus Rapid Transit

In December, I discussed the methods COTA was using to improve service. One method was the use of bus rapid transit (BRT) which is a route which can have signal priority, meaning the bus would stop at fewer to no red lights. BRT is all the rage as it is significantly cheaper than light-rail and has comparable travel times to light-rail as well. 

Anyway, the Dispatch recently had an update on it and really, it's still looking like 2015 will be the soonest before it's operational:
"The Central Ohio Transit Authority will hit the road next month to begin gathering ideas for public-transportation improvements between Downtown, the Northeast Side and beyond.
A new service that’s quicker than a local-route bus but makes more stops than an express route remains the most-likely option. It’s called 'bus rapid transit,' and it’s rapidly gaining favor nationwide and already has been implemented in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Boston, Kansas City, Mo., and other cities.
It’s often described as light-rail on wheels, a step up from regular bus routes but cheaper to start than train or trolley service."
I think that in conjunction with this, it would be a great idea for Columbus to integrate other public transit during the "Split Fix" on I-70/I-71. People will likely be commuting between north Columbus to downtown for the forseeable future. We might as well build integrated rail on the freeway like Chicago or integrate bus stops next to interchanges to reduce congestion on our major north-south route. 

Cool link of the day:

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