Worldchanging interviews WRI researchers on a recent report they did comparing bus rapid transit (BRT) to light rail. There is an interesting discussion in the comments on the article WRI on Bus Rapid Transit v. Light Rail:
A team of researchers at the World Resources Institute (WRI) recently produced a report that goes against the grain. WRI analyzed and compared BRT and light rail as two options for Maryland’s Purple Line Project, a 16-mile transit corridor that will connect the D.C. suburbs. In January, the Institute came down in favor of BRT, with a statement announcing that “enhanced buses … would cost less, offer similar services, and fight global warming better than light-rail cars.”
Our main question related not to what’s in the study, but rather, what seems to be left out. It’s a common observation that light rail delivers benefit beyond transit alone, in the form of transit-oriented development that springs up as a result of developers, business owners and homebuyers seeking proximity to the train stations.
The team at WRI was happy to share their take on this and other issues. I interviewed the study’s lead author, Greg Fuhs, and WRI’s senior transport engineer Dario Hidalgo, about BRT/LRT, transit prejudices, and how other cities can apply this analysis to their own planning process.