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tzbpicbrtBus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a mass transit system that uses specialized buses to rapidly move people along a fixed route.

Although the passenger capacity of a train is greater, BRT shares many common attributes with rail service such as:

  • An exclusive right-of-way
  • Limited stops
  • Stations with shelters
  • Easy, quick, and level boarding

BRT vehicles are quite different from traditional busses, like the Bee-Line. BRT vehicles are often larger, run cleaner, and are more efficient than regular busses. In addition, because of the attributes listed above, BRT systems feel more like a rail system than a bus system. For example, BRT systems often run more frequently than traditional bus services and many run more frequently than commuter rail services; some BRT systems have vehicles arriving at a station every minute during peak periods.

BRT for Westchester
The specific characteristics of the BRT system that will operate in the I-287 corridor have not been finalized. Westchester County is recommending that the following characteristics be considered in the final design of the new BRT system:

  • The BRT system should be separated from general traffic as much as possible. Ideally, the new BRT system should operate in its own independent right-of-way.
  • Stations should be accessible to pedestrians and should be strongly integrated with the surrounding land use – that is to say, they should not be in the middle of parking lots or in the middle of I-287.
  • The new BRT system should be designed so as to complement existing bus and train transit services and, where possible, should exploit develop the opportunities for local feeder service.

Contact Information

If you have questions or comments, e-mail the Tappan Zee Hudson River Crossing Project at

If you have questions for the Westchester County Department of Planning, contact Ed Buroughs at

Learn more about BRT
You can learn more about the Bus Rapid Transit by visiting the Web sites listed below, the include reports by the federal government, non-profit organizations and academics. They are organized into three categories: general BRT information, case studies and other BRT resources.

A new independent study, issued by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, rates Los Angeles, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Eugene and Pittsburgh as the nation’s leading cities for bus-based transportation because of their high-quality bus rapid transit systems. The report presents a comprehensive overview of BRT in the United States as of today.

View the full report

View the fact sheet

General information on BRT
Case Studies in BRT (volume 1, 62 pages/PDF)
This report looks at 26 BRT systems and identifies the range of options available. It was authored by the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP), a program of the Transportation Research Board, an arm of the National Academies.  NOTE: Web site requires registration and logon to access this report

BRT, Implementation Guidelines (2003, 233 pages/PDF)
Planning and implementation guidelines for new BRT systems; volume 2 of the TCRP study. NOTE: Web site requires registration and logon to access this report

BRT Practitioner's Guide  (2007, 255 pages/PDF)
The nuts and bolts of implementing a BRT system, including the relative cost of different BRT components; published by the TCRP.

Characteristics of BRT for Decision-Making (2004, 301 pages/PDF)
Authored by the Federal Transit Administration, this report is an “easy to use reference tool for transportation planners in selecting from the large array of BRT elements and integrating them into comprehensive systems.”

BRT Shows Promise (2001, 61 pages/PDF)
This report, by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) “1) examines the federal role in supporting Bus Rapid Transit; (2) compares the capital costs, operating costs, and performance characteristics of Bus Rapid Transit and Light Rail systems; and (3) describes the other advantages and disadvantages of Bus Rapid Transit and Light Rail.”

Status of New Starts Program and Potential for BRT Projects (2002, 13 pages/PDF)
This U.S. GAO study discusses the advantages that BRT systems have in competing for New Start funding from the Federal Transit Administration. New Start funding is the primary federal funding program for new transit systems, such as the one that will be constructed along the I-287 corridor.

BRT Offers Communities a Flexible Mass Transit Option (2003, 19 pages/PDF)
A report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office that discusses the relative merits of BRT systems over other mass-transit systems.

BRT case studies
Getting Up to Speed: A Case for BRT and TOD in the Tappan Zee Bridge/I-287 Corridor (2007, 25 pages/PDF)
A Tri-State Transportation Campaign (TSTC) presentation that discusses the suitability of BRT for the I-287 corridor, including its ability to encourage transit oriented development.

Euclid Avenue BRT System – Cleveland, Ohio The ‘Silver Line’ BRT system is being constructed to improve transit in both the downtown and outlying areas of Cleveland, Ohio.

Silver Line Waterfront:BRT Project 2007 Evaluation (2007, 81 pages/PDF)
This Federal Transit Administration (FTA) report looks at the Silver Line BRT system in Boston, Massachusetts.

Case Study on Vancouver’s 98 B-Line BRT service (2004)
A report produced by Transport Canada on Vancouver’s successful BRT system.

Applicability of Bogotá’s TransMilenio BRT System to the United States (2006, 86 pages/PDF)
This report looks at one of the most successful BRT systems in the world in Bogotá, Columbia; commissioned by the FTA and written by the National Bus Rapid Transit Institute (NBRTI.)

Public Transportation in Bogotá: life after BRT (2006, 50 pages/PDF)
In this study prepared for the World Bank, Dr. Arturo Adrila discusses some of the lessons learned from setting up a large, city-wide BRT system.

A Critical Look at Major Bus Improvements in Latin America and Asia: Case Studies of Hitches, Hic-Ups and Areas for Improvement (2007, 78 pages/PDF)
This report, published by the World Bank, looks at the lessons learned from the design and implementation of the largest BRT systems in the world.

Other BRT resources
National Bus Rapid Transit Institute

Tri-State Transportation Campaign's BRT Web site