All over the world, there is a growing need for safer, more efficient and greener public transport. In particular, cities are increasingly impacted by congestion, pollution and noise. Congestion costs society billions annually and impairs life quality for every individual that, each day, spends hours in traffic to get to work, school or visit family and friends.
Volvo's solution - BRT
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a public transport concept specially developed for cities to meet growing transportation needs, to increase the efficiency of public transport and, in parallel, reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.
BRT comprises dedicated lanes for buses with a high service frequency and passenger capacity. BRT can be compared to public transport by rail regarding travelling time, service frequency, punctuality and capacity. The investment cost is as low as 5% of the amount required for an equivalent subway system. In addition, the process of developing and implementing a functional BRT system is significantly shorter. In addition, BRT is complemented with a system for real-time traffic monitoring and passenger information. The system also supplies traffic management with critical data about the vehicle including fuel consumption, distance and speed.
The BRT system reduces bus and car traffic and thus contributes to safer traffic with less negative environmental impact. Dedicated bus lanes reduce the risk of accidents while lowering fuel consumption and thereby emissions, since the buses do not need to stop and accelerate as frequently. Environmental impact is further reduced through the use of larger but fewer modern buses that transport more passengers more rapidly. A BRT bus can carry as many as 270 passengers.
Using public transport can be perceived as awkward, boring and in some places it is also associated with risk. However, the speed, comfort, safety and reliability of BRT provides an attractive alternative. The dedicated bus lanes, high service frequency, simplicity of boarding and alighting in combination with an efficient ticket system make for significant reductions in journey times compared with traditional bus systems. Passengers are provided with access to information on departure and journey times at bus stops, onboard and via mobile applications.
The concept was developed in the Brazilian city of Curitiba in the 1970s and a number of cities worldwide view BRT as a promising solution. Cities in Canada, France, the Netherlands, China, Australia and the US have already implemented the concept. In Mexico City, 450,000 passengers a day are transported by the BRT system, which has reduced the city’s carbon emissions by 80,000 tons per year. In Bogota, 1.5 million journeys are made every day with the BRT system resulting in a reduction in carbon emissions of 300,000 tons each year.