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Bus Rapid Transit Comes to Washington, DC

Washington DC is to get a major boost in its fight against traffic congestion and pollution with a new Bus Rapid Transit scheme for the city that will link some of its key suburbs.


31 May 2013 - A Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is coming to Washington, DC in the spring of 2014, to connect Crystal City in Arlington with the Potomac Yard in Alexandria.

Basically, a BRT is an aboveground subway for buses, except that it costs 1/10th the price.
This is good news for DC residents, who are currently dealing with the worst traffic in the USA. DC commuters lose an average of 67 hours per year because of congestion, resulting in an additional 121 litres per year per commuter of fuel wasted.


Washington, DC is following in the footsteps of many developing world cities that have already put in BRT systems. Curitiba, Brazil, was the first to implement a BRT system in the 1970s. Many other cities have also put in similar systems: Bogota, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Guangzhou, China; Delhi, India; Jakarta, Indonesia; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and many more.


These cities have benefited from BRTs in many ways. In Bogota, the Transmilenio BRT system has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 330,000 tons per year. BRT systems also improve air quality, increase mobility for the urban poor, and decrease road deaths.


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