Bus Rapid Transit Makes Economic Sense

Bus Rapid Transit Makes Economic Sense

This week, the Montgomery County Council is holding public hearings on the proposed Bus Rapid Transit Network.  We’ve been talking about the potential of this project for months and, now, a study shows that bus rapid transit ignites development better than other transit modes.

As reported in Forbes Magazine, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy studied Bus Rapid Transit, light rail and streetcars to establish which spur the greater amount of development.  Both because BRT is the least expensive of these options, and because of their frequent stops and reliability, Bus Rapid Transit best leverages development and produces sizable economic returns on investment.

The Institute warns, however, that these results come from authentic BRT lines – seven of which exist in the US (Cleveland, Las Vegas, Eugene OR, and several in Pittsburgh).  Nevertheless, none reach the international “gold standard” of BRT. “Though many projects in the United States have been described as BRT, many have only one or two features of BRT, and really are only enhanced bus lines,” the head of the Institute says.  This is what we’re trying to avoid in White Flint – a rapid transit system that qualifies in name only.  By doing it right, Montgomery County will be poised for success.

Read the Forbes piece here.  The full report will be available September 27th.

Want to see this kind of investment in our area? Now’s your chance to write to the County Council! Our friends at the Coalition for Smarter Growth have made it easy for you to write to them here. Don’t delay – the public record closes this Friday, September 27.

Lindsay Hoffman

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