As cities boost rapid transit buses get new look

first_img WASHINGTON — It’s the fastest, cheapest, most effective way to move large numbers of people in an urban area, some transit advocates have come to conclude.But it’s not a streetcar or light-rail system: It’s a fleet of buses that acts like one.Bus rapid transit is common in Latin America and Asia, but it hasn’t caught on as quickly in the United States. Most transit investment in the U.S. over the past few decades has concentrated on subways, light rail and streetcars.According to its boosters, bus rapid transit can spur just as much or more economic development generally at a fraction of the cost, although more sophisticated projects can be just as expensive as rail. Real estate developers and city planners tend to prefer rail systems because of their durability and capacity to move large numbers of people.A proposed bus rapid transit system in Vancouver remains in the queue for a possible federal grant next year, after the Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council turned back Clark County Commissioner David Madore’s effort to put the project on hold.Madore has expressed his desire to “pause” the project until at least November, when bus rapid transit is among several nonbinding advisories that will appear on the ballot. The measure, if approved, would direct Clark County commissioners to oppose any such system unless it’s first supported by a majority of voters. Click to enlarge.last_img read more