Funding Bus Rapid Transit in the U.S.
The number of U.S. communities planning or studying bus rapid transit has increased significantly in the last few years. This is the result of recent BRT projects that have proven that BRT can work in the US. Also, there is fierce competition for federal capital project funds. Many transit agencies are also facing internal budget restrictions. This is creating a strong incentive to find more cost-effective transit options. This paper looks at the current state of BRT funding. It briefly describes major sources of BRT funding, and then describes how 18 BRT, rapid bus, and express bus projects – both operating and planned — have used these sources. The paper finds that, while funding opportunities for BRT have improved over the last few years, there are still some artificial barriers to BRT funding that will continue to challenge transit agencies if they are not addressed.