John Carr - Articles and news items
“BRT: the time is right” was the opening heading for my previous contribution on Bus Rapid Transit to Eurotransport (Issue 4 2008) at a time when most developed economies were reaping the fruits of prosperity, even if urban public transport in the UK continued to experience the pains of growing demand but lack of capacity. This was partly attributable to years of under investment, arguably the result of public investment appraisal techniques in sufficiently rewarding the benefits of good public transport and more efficient goods distribution whilst over compensating time saving and taxation impacts for car users.
In Runcorn in the UK and Almere in the Netherlands, new towns have been functioning for several decades with their transport needs based around largely segregated, highly reliable bus services. In common with other public transport the fortunes of these systems may have fluctuated with investment levels and institutional changes, but both communities enjoy high levels of access and relatively low congestion. Tales from the Americas and Australasia trumpet the success of Bus Rapid Transit systems in communities with a wide spread of social and economic conditions. The unsung busways in Runcorn and Almere point the way here in Europe to what might be achieved with bus based rapid transit solutions.