As Chicago plans for bus rapid transit, an express bus system that often relies on bus-only lanes on busy roads, the city should look to five U.S. cities that have innovative BRT systems, a study released Thursday by a non-profit group that promotes developing BRT infrastructure found.
The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy rated Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Eugene, Oregon, as the top five BRT systems in the country.
Chicago, the San Francisco Bay area and Montgomery County in Maryland have "the best prospects to achieve an even higher 'gold-standard' BRT, something that does not currently exist" in the U.S., according to the group.
In a transition report released earlier this month, Mayor Emanuel listed BRT as one of his priorities.
Emanuel said his administration will initiate a study in the next year of whether Western or Ashland Avenue is better suited for BRT.
In its report, the transportation institute lauded Los Angeles for buses that arrive every four minutes in rush hour; Cleveland for dedicated bus lanes and a 60 percent increase in ridership; Las Vegas for high-quality urban design; Eugene for a 30.4 percent speed increase over previous service; and Pittsburgh for buses every two minutes during peak hours and speeds up to 35 miles per hour.