Improving services and sustainability through better jobs and democracy

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) has released what it calls the first comprehensive standard for Bus Rapid Transit services. Describing it as a “defining and scoring designation for bus rapid transit (BRT) systems around the world”, the ITDP says it is “similar to the LEED designation for green buildings”.

“Funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, The BRT Standard is the centerpiece of a global effort by leaders in BRT design to establish a common definition for bus rapid transit and to ensure that BRT systems more uniformly deliver world-class passenger experiences, significant economic benefits, and positive environmental impacts,” stated the ITDP.

BRT corridors can be awarded a bronze, silver or gold designation under the scheme, and the first 50 BRT corridors scored, in 35 different cities, have resulted in 16 bronze, 20 silver and 12 gold awards. For further details, and a full list of the infrastructure and service elements included in the scorecard, go to the dedicated web page here.

The scorecard includes a range of important characteristics of good BRT systems, but no categories about employment issues, such as levels of training and employee engagement. At Quality Public Transport we believe those issues are not only important in their own right but also have significant bearing on quality of service.

There are some aspects of quality we think could also be included — at present only branding and passenger information are scorecard categories under the Quality of Service heading. Similarly, the issue of affordability for poor people and particularly vulnerable groups appears not to be included in the Access section.

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