BRT Systems * USA: TXS: Signals works 15 - 20% of the time - * California. San Diego's - * Illinois. Pace's ones
* Texas - Austin's award-winning Rapid Bus Signal System only works 15-20% of the time
MetroRapid. They're generally larger, run more frequently, have fewer stops (to run faster) and offer some amenities not found on the city's local buses, like WiFi. More than a million trips have been taken on the new rapid bus lines. They also have a higher price... But these rapid buses supposedly justify that higher price by getting you around faster. Capital Metro labels it a "premium" service, and one advantage they're supposed to have is they can hold green lights longer at intersections outside of downtown, extending the time before a light turns red and allowing the rapid bus to get through in time... The system is called "Transit Signal Priority" (TSP), and it's the first of its kind in Texas... But the problem is, the system's not really working as it should, and the rapid buses are running slower — and later — than Capital Metro planned for... Part of the reason for that is that the two new rapid lines were modeled and planned based on 2008 traffic data; the corridors the MetroRapid 801 and 803 routes travel have become much more congested since that time... Capital Metro, however, says there's a long way to go before the system is working as well as it could be...
(Photo by Spencer Selvidge/KUT News -- A signal system is supposed to extend green lights for Capital Metro's "rapid" buses, but it's only working 15-20% of the time) Austin, TXS, USA - KUT.org, by Terrence Henry - April 2, 2015
* California - 6 Months In, San Diego’s New Rapid Bus Line boosts ridership but not speed
the Metropolitan Transit System on its newest rapid bus line. Now the line from San Diego State to downtown is six months old, and it seems riders have changed their tune... MTS says ridership on the Mid-City Rapid 215 line has increased about 16 percent since last year. It carries more than 7,000 riders along El Cajon and Park boulevards each day... But Mid-City Rapid hasn't delivered on speed. It averages 47 minutes at 7 a.m. and 51 minutes at 4 p.m. That's about 10 minutes slower than the 38 minutes planners initially estimated. And it's slower than the 15 bus, an older line serving a similar route... Part of the problem is traffic signals aren't yet synchronized to move buses more quickly down the road... A spokesman for the San Diego Association of Governments, which planned and paid for the project with funds from the region's TransNet and the Federal Transit Administration, said the lights should be synchronized in the next three months...
(Photo by Megan Burks / KPBS: Bus wait times are displayed at a new Mid-City Rapid bus station April 6, 2015) -- San Diego, CAL, USA - KPBS org, by Megan Burks - April 7, 2015
* Illinois - Pace hopes to build a network of faster buses on major roads
Pace commuters eager to scoot through the suburbs can learn more about the agency's new Pulse arterial bus rapid transit program and give their two cents at an April 22 forum... In 2017, Pace will debut the first Pulse bus on Milwaukee Avenue traveling from Niles to the Jefferson Park CTA stop. That will be followed by a Dempster Avenue express bus between Evanston and O'Hare International Airport that stops in Des Plaines... The two are part of Pace plans for a network of 24 corridors for arterial bus rapid transit. Proposed arterial corridors include Arlington Heights Road, Army Trail Road, Barrington/County Farm Road, Gary Avenue, Half Day Road, Higgins Road, and routes 25, 31, 53, and 83... Arterial Rapid Transit promises faster commutes than traditional bus service. There are fewer stops and quick boarding at stations, and a traffic prioritization program helps ensure buses stay on schedule...
(Photo: A Pace's bus) Chicago, ILL, USA - The Daily Herald, by Marni Pyke - 6 April 2015