Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)

A Bus-Based Public Transportation System

Last updated Jul. 17, 2019 - 8:32 am

Raleigh has envisioned a future with greater freedom and choice of mobility than ever before. In November of 2016, Wake County voters approved a plan for focused investment in public transit which puts the implementation of the Wake County Transit Plan in motion, including building approximately 20 miles of BRT lanes.

We Want to Hear from You

The City of Raleigh is conducting a survey to gather feedback on conceptual design for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along New Bern Avenue. Your feedback will play a critical role in refining the station locations and BRT design. The survey should take only 5 minutes to complete and can be completed anonymously.

The survey will close on Tuesday, July 23.

Take the survey

Raleigh BRT: Equitable Development Around Transit

Bus Rapid Transit service will serve existing neighborhoods and shape future growth. That is why equity is a core consideration of this project. City Planning is working on a plan for how to foster fair development around transit.

Raleigh BRT: Equitable Development Around Transit

Raleigh BRT: New Bern Avenue

The design phase for implementing BRT on New Bern Avenue is underway. Approximately 4.75 miles of the 6.4-mile corridor would use dedicated transit lanes between the GoRaleigh Station, in downtown Raleigh, and Sunnybrook Road. BRT would share the general traffic lanes for the remainder of the corridor between Sunnybrook Road and New Hope Road.

Raleigh BRT: New Bern Avenue

How is BRT different from conventional bus service?

BRT gives priority to buses on roadways at intersections and through the use of dedicated bus lanes. This makes it possible for bus drivers to bypass traffic and keep their routes on schedule.

BRT has several distinguishing features which are described below.

Dedicated Lanes

As an alternative to mixed-flow transit lanes, BRT buses have their own lane in traffic. Dedicated lanes ensure that they are never delayed by congestion, regardless of the time of day. Removing BRT buses from traffic also reduces the risk of traffic collisions which increases safety and reliability for all vehicles.

Traffic Signal Priority at Intersections

BRT lanes are protected from turning traffic. At intersections, cars cannot cross dedicated BRT lanes to turn, which increases bus efficiency and roadway safety. BRT buses can also coordinate with traffic signals along their route, increasing their time efficiency and ability to stick to prescribed schedules by eliminating wait times at traffic lights.

Makes Fewer Stops Along the Corridor

BRT buses can stick closely to their schedules with the implementation of dedicated infrastructure and less frequent stops that boosts efficiency. Additionally, BRT buses are outfitted with up-to-the-minute GPS tracking so that the stations can display live, accurate updates for bus arrival time which creates greater predictability in the public transit network.

Pre-Boarding Fare Collection

Fare payments are made at the station instead of on the bus to minimize delays in picking up passengers. Pre-payment improves passenger convenience and accessibility by eliminating wait times and the potential for confusion on board the bus.

Raised Platforms for Easy Boarding

The bus and the boarding station are at the same level to facilitate expedited boarding, to ensure safety, and to make boarding the bus accessible and comfortable for all. In this way, BRT station design is more akin to a metro station than a traditional bus stop. The stations are positioned to eliminate any gap or step-up necessitated by conventional bus boarding. By increasing the height of the station to match the bus boarding level to eliminate the step-up, BRT can be more accessible to disabled passengers.

Premium Amenities at Stations

BRT corridors are outfitted with specialized stations that provide more services for riders. These services include improvements to ticketing, scheduling, and boarding.

BRT Service

BRT Service

The addition of Bus Rapid Transit to Raleigh’s existing network of public transportation will allow the system to better meet transit demands, take more cars off the road, and get riders where they need to go faster. Raleigh already has a successful network of traditional bus routes serving the downtown and surrounding areas. Because BRT is a bus-based rapid transit solution, it can seamlessly supplement the existing system by expanding the reach and capacity of bus service along strategic corridors. Other cities who have implemented BRT have seen successful integration it into a multimodal transit network.

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