Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

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This report in the Transit Strategies Series explores Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).  Since the late 1990s, nearly 200 cities throughout the world have developed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) services that have made bus service much more attractive and greatly increased ridership. Compared to light rail transit (LRT), BRT typically has much lower capital and operating costs. And compared to regular buses, BRT is faster, more reliable, and more easily identifiable.

What do you think?  Where should Nashville MTA/RTA consider Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)? 


  1. Peachie J. says

    I am a big fan of the BRT. In general, I wish the Nashville MTA had service that reached farther into neighboring communities. BRT rather than express buses could accomplish this beautifully. Perhaps a BRT version of the 5 and 12?

  2. says

    Is it a feasible concept to think about utilizing the waterways of Mills Creek and Sims Branch as a possible alley for railway? MusicCity Star – AirportExpress.

    Atlanta’s BeltLine Concept has some excellent Greenway/Railway examples — assuming these areas are currently under speculation for Greenway acquisition.

  3. Larry Vaughn says

    I have read a lot about mass transit and have personal experience of living in Maryland and BRT is definitely the most feasible solution. There are numerous examples in the US and in 3rd world cities of successful BRT systems. Also, we need to stop expanding the interstate system. The more lanes you add the more people will drive their cars and live in surrounding counties, but working in Nashville. It needs to be more expensive to drive and park your car downtown. A surcharge or fee should be charged for parking downtown with the money going to subsidize BRT. If employers provide free parking for their employees they should pay this fee also. Larry

  4. Collin Brown says

    I think the best US city example of transit success is Portland. The bus service is excellent, it’s consistent and gets you everywhere you need to go in the central city.

  5. Bill H says

    BRT such as 56 should be put on major routes quickly instead of one every few years as is now.
    Charlotte, West End, Dickerson Pk, 8th/Rosa Parks/Franklin Rd, 21st/Hillsboro to name a few.

    A variety of sizes for buses should be used. The Access Ride buses rarely carry more than one person. That size vehicle should be used for less busy routes, a smaller vehicle for Access Ride.

  6. Christina says

    I like the idea of a monorail running in both directions down the middle of highways. (Across the state and interstate – not just Nashville.) Until that infrastructure is in place, the shoulder lane for buses with covered or protected stops around exits would be a good solution. I also feel we should make use of more shuttles. Sometimes the Green and Blue buses are nearly empty. They would be a lot more convenient and dependable if they were smaller and ran more often.

  7. Skip Malone says

    I would welcome a BRT route along Nolensville Road at least as far as Old Hickory Blvd. possibly even as far south as Lenox Village. MTA needs to give this a priority. Currently route 12 Nolensville carries heavy loads and is prone to delays and late operations.

  8. Julie Leggio says

    I would like to have a BRT to BNA after I parked at KMart or walked to Gallatin Pk from Winding Way.

  9. Andy says

    I’m curious about freeway BRT. I see freeway congestion as one of our biggest needs. Could freeway BRT combined with major employers providing last mile service really help?

    • says

      Thanks for your comment Andy. You are right about freeway congestion being a major issue. No single strategy will be able to address the many transportation needs of the region. That’s why we are looking at several potential strategies that can help make an impact in different ways. A combination of strategies will be needed for different contexts and BRT on freeways will be one of them. We just released a report as part of the Transit Strategies Series on “Freeway BRT” https://www.nmotion.info/freeway-transitbus-rapid-transit-brt/ and I see you have found that report and left us some comments there. Thank you for your interest and input.

  10. Phil Cobucci says

    Fascinating read, again.

    AMP struggled for acceptance because the dedicated bus lane would have been installed in an area of town that in many minds would cause more congestion.

    I’m fascinated by a dedicated busway. That could be a real game changer, but where would that be within our existing infrastructure?