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How BRT Improves Transit Service And Contributes to Economic Development

A July 2012 General Accounting Office study "Bus Rapid Transit: Projects Improve Transit Service And Can Contribute to Economic Development" has been added to the Resource Center's best practices database.

The GAO report to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, in the U.S. Senate examined (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.

"While most local officials believe that rail transit has a greater economic development potential than BRT, they agreed that certain factors can enhance BRT’s ability to contribute to economic development, including physical BRT features that relay a sense of permanence to developers; key employment and activity centers located along the corridor; and local policies and incentives that encourage transit-oriented development," the report concludes. "Our analysis of land value changes near BRT lends support to these themes. In addition to economic development, BRT project sponsors highlighted other community benefits including quick construction and implementation and operational flexibility."

Download the full report