Global database of bus transport systems launched

2 April 2012

A new database which will act as a one-stop-shop for researchers, planners, and policy makers to source information on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems has been launched by the IEA in partnership with EMBARQ, a division of the World Resources Institute, a think tank based in Washington D.C.

This database – – is the most ambitious, globally encompassing effort to map out BRT systems around the world and will include a web portal, which is publicly available for anyone wishing to access information about BRT data. 

"BRT is growing in importance as a transit alternative," said Tali Trigg, transport analyst at the IEA. "The data included in this database will be helpful to planners, and is an essential component in calculating energy efficient scenarios which inform decision makers of practical ways of transitioning to a more secure, sustainable and affordable energy future."

BRT systems – which were originally popularised in Curitiba, Brazil, and Bogotá, Colombia – are networks of low-cost surface metro systems, featuring large, fast buses that are more efficient than regular bus systems and consequently popular with passengers. They are now being considered and actively adopted by hundreds of cities around the world.

These systems incorporate a number of technical innovations which aim to slash carbon dioxide emissions by enticing people away from their cars to a cost-effective and attractive alternative, and by making the bus routes more efficient, thereby saving energy.

Their numerous features include introducing dedicated lanes for buses in urban areas and creating bus stations with pre-pay systems that allow high volume, rapid boarding and alighting of buses, similar to metro systems.

Click here to watch a tutorial on how to use the BRT website.

Photo: ©GraphicObsession