Benefits of Bus Rapid Transit

Transit Improvements:

  • Level boarding eliminates need for lifts or ramps for wheelchairs and or for people with disabilities or traveling with strollers or carts. Boarding will be exactly like boarding BART. This makes boarding for people in wheelchairs much faster and safer.
  • Dedicated lanes keep buses out of traffic, running on time, and prevents bus bunching, which helps to reduce operations cost, allowing for more service and less cuts
  • BRT buses will come more frequently - in some places, every 5 minutes - all day long (not just during peak hours!)
  • Traffic Signal Priority systems will hold green lights longer for approaching BRT vehicles, minimizing the amount of time that BRT stops for anything other than passengers
  • All-Door Boarding will legally allow passengers to board through any door tagging their Clipper Cards to scanners located at each door. This eliminates crowding at the front of the vehicle, and speeds up boarding.
  • BRT Stations will all have seating, lighting, shelter, state-of-the art Information systems, and public art. BRT stations will be placed no more than 1/3 of a mile apart, at key destinations and where transfers happen along the route.
  • Center boarding stations allow passengers to wait together (safety in numbers) regardless of the direction they are heading. Center-running, platform stations also make it easier for passengers to navigate, and change direction if needed.

Safety from Crime:

  • Increased lighting at stations makes waiting for transit much safer;
  • Emergency phones at stations provide direct links to police or sheriff;
  • Cameras at stations will act as crime deterrents;
  • Fare inspection officers also increase presence of authority, and can act as "eyes and ears" of police or sheriff;
  • Higher concentrations of passengers at stations (rather than scattered along at stops) increase overall "eyes on the street" and decrease isolation of potential victims waiting for a bus alone on the side of the road, in the dark;
  • Higher frequency of bus arrival times (every 5 minutes during the day -all day-), and improved reliability significantly decrease time spent waiting for the bus, and exposing one's self as a potential target for crime.

Safety from Traffic:

  • Dedicated lanes calm car traffic to safer speeds
  • Bike lanes calm car traffic to safer speeds, and get bikes off of sidewalks;
  • New traffic signals make it safer to cross the street;
  • Improved crosswalks and bulb-outs increase visibility of pedestrians;
  • Increased street lighting increases visibility of pedestrians;
  • BRT Stations also act as pedestrian refuges, even for those who simply want to cross the street.

Health Benefits:

  • Improved ambulance and fire response times by giving emergency vehicles access to a traffic-free dedicated bus lane while maintaining access to senior facilities from the street;
  • Creates bike lanes, which encourage biking which has been proven to improve health;
  • By offering greener choices for transportation, BRT reduces asthma and other respiratory problems by reducing air pollution;
  • Reduces obesity and health problems by creating safe, accessible and walkable communities. BRT would create pleasant transit stops and safer streets and sidewalks;
  • Provides more frequent, reliable transit to health and medical centers along the corridor.

Economic Benefits:

  • Turns a 45 minute bus ride into a 30 minute bus ride, saving time and money for riders;
  • By offering people a competitive, reliable alternative to a private vehicle, household transportation costs can be reduced, thereby freeing up more resources for other necessities such as housing and healthcare;
  • BRT creates hundreds of local jobs (construction and support jobs);
  • Invests $180M into Oakland and San Leandro from Regional, State and Federal sources;
  • Acts as a catalyst for the implementation of the International Blvd. TOD Plan, which has allowed already brought Oakland over $1M in planning efforts;
  • Attracts private investment (BRT in Cleveland attracted some $4.3B of investment into it's struggling economy); 
  • Reduces the cost of transit operations to allow for more frequent service (5 minute headways all day).

Environmental Benefits:

  • Reduces GHG's by 1,900 tons per year by attracting more riders and with new, state-of-the-art hybrid buses that reduce travel times by 30%
  • Cleaner, greener buses (made in the USA) means improved air quality and reducing air pollution that causes asthma and other respiratory illnesses;
  • Saves 210,000 gallons of gas from being burned per year in Alameda County