The bus rapid transit is a compelling alternative to the traditional bus system. In retrofitting existing built environments, it is a system that could be implemented as a part of good transportation policy and also used to maximize healthy circulation. Bus rapid transit is itself congruous with what many cities value and as well as is a less costly and less permanent alternative to other systems such as a monorail. When the infrastructure is implemented effectively, architects and planners say that the system has the advantages of larger systems while maintaining the flexibility a modern city demands.
The features of a rapid bus transit are incredibly interesting. First, the buses are usually designed in conjunction with a true, dedicated station. This usually models that of a train or subway station having ticket windows, which also prevent slowdown of a traditional bus from paying the fare when boarding. The stations and bus entrances are also raised in order to have quicker embark/disembark times. Moreover, there are fewer stations to decrease the number of times a bus must stop. Overall, the stations are far more welcoming than traditional bus stops which increase the all important ridership. Further, the buses are far more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Many bus rapid transit exclusively use hybrid commercial vehicles.
How the buses interact with built environment and existing traffic patterns is equally important to the success of the rapid transit system. For many systems, the buses have traffic priority to ensure faster times. This means that they either cause traffic lights to change as the bus approaches intersections, or they have dedicated lanes to prevent the need to slow down. The buses would then circumvent regular traffic making sure that no unnecessary elements delay time. Exact features vary in each respective iteration of a bus rapid transit system. Also, because of the aesthetic elements and design of the bus rapid transit system, those normally discouraged from riding public transit are more likely to utilize the service. Buses in the rapid transit services travel at a 6mph higher average speed than traditional buses.
Multiple European countries have implemented rapid bus transit systems to supplement their extensive public transit infrastructure. In the United States, there are 32 systems and quasi-systems in place of varying sizes, the majority being out in the western part of the country. It is important to continue growing the bus rapid transit system where possible to provide efficient and flexible public transit in high density areas. It offers savings when compared to other systems and can relieve roadway congestion, improving circulation. US cities, where density permits, can benefit from fitting bus rapid transit into their existing public transit.