What is BRT and Rapid?

What is Bus Rapid Transit?

BRT is an enhanced bus service that offers faster speeds, shorter travel times and improved customer amenities.  BRT performance is facilitated by operational and physical elements that can include some or all of the following elements:

  • Limited or skip-stop service (longer stop spacing than local routes)
  • Queue jumps and bulbouts (street and sidewalk configurations that allow buses to bypass traffic)
  • Bus signal priority (buses trigger shorter red or extended green lights)
  • Dedicated bus-only lanes
  • Low-floor or multiple door buses
  • Off-board fare collection
  • Enhanced stations with passenger amenities such as weather protection, additional seating and real-time information
  • Unique branding of service/vehicles

What’s the Difference Between Rapid and Bus Rapid Transit?

BRT can generally be implemented in two ways based on level of investment: Rapid (minimal capital investment) and full BRT (significant capital investment).  The main characteristics of Rapid and full BRT services are listed below:


  • Buses operate in regular lanes with mixed traffic
  • Limited or skip-stop service
  • Queue jumps
  • Bus signal priority
  • Branded service/vehicles
  • Enhanced bus stops (i.e. shelters)

Full BRT:

  • Dedicated bus lanes
  • Higher degree of enhancements (i.e. station ticketing machines)
  • Enhanced stations with passenger amenities (i.e. real-time information)