BRT in the Americas: New Trends and Opportunities
On March 10, 2015 at 9am PST, Meeting of the Minds, together with the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations, hosted a live webinar on the topic of bus rapid transit.
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Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is gaining support around the world as one solution for sustainable transport in both developing and developed cities because of its ability to carry large passenger flows all while maintaining the flexibility of bus service with low capital costs and fairly quick implementation time.
Meeting peak-hour transportation demand for large numbers of people who want to reach the same place in a short period of time is an urban constraint in every city. Over the past 100 years, cities have been designed to allow car owners to reach these destinations. However, cars do not use urban space efficiently, cause significant congestion, and contribute to high pollution rates at low speeds. BRT aims to change that.
BRT is a flexible, rubber-tired form of rapid transit that combines stations, vehicles, services, running ways and ITS elements into an integrated system. By aiming to provide Metro-like service on the surface, BRT has gained a lot of attention from urban planners worldwide. This transport mode is increasingly being implemented in cities worldwide. More date is available at the BRT database: www.brtdata.org. However, it is often still considered a lesser alternative when compared with Metro transit. One of the main criticisms of BRT is that it has failed to provide the benefits that Metro transit can provide. However, BRT needs to be reframed as an option that provides a service level that Metro systems cannot. In this month’s webinar, we will describe the evolution of the BRT industry with a main focus on the Americas and share insights for how the bus and transportation industry can change the conversation and policy direction in cities around the world.
Juan Carlos Muñoz
Director of the Department of Transport Engineering and Logistics
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Juan Carlos Muñoz is the Director of the Department of Transport Engineering and Logistics of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile where he acted as an Associate Dean of Academic Affairs from 2007 to 2010. His main research areas are public transport, logistics, transport networks and traffic flow theory. He leads the Bus Rapid Transit Centre of Excellence (www.brt.cl) that aims at doing research, running an educational program and advising cities on the Strategic, Tactical, Operational and Control aspects of Bus Rapid Transit projects. He co-directs the multidisciplinary Centre of Sustainable Urban Development at PUC (www.cedeus.cl). During 2003 and 2004 he was personal advisor of the Chilean Minister of Transport on transit issues. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Metro of Valparaiso from 2007 to 2010 and is currently an advisor of the Chilean Ministry of Transport on public transport issues and member of the Board of Metro of Santiago. He has published academic papers in the most prestigious journals in the field and is a member of several international editorial boards.