Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
Take our survey to show Chicago elected officials that you want BRT now!
We believe right now is the time to bring the conversation around Bus Rapid Transit back to center stage! Previous efforts to bring BRT to Chicago have failed because of a lack of political will and follow-through. Help us consolidate the voices of transit riders across our city by taking our survey. This will allow us to show elected officials that transit riders are a constituency they must pay attention to and that we want expanded public transit options now!
Survey input is collected on a rolling basis and you can still participate!
Doesn't Chicago already have Bus Rapid Transit?
The short answer: No! Infrastructure like the Loop Link and routes like the Jeffrey Jump are similar in intention to Bus Rapid Transit, but are light years away from true Bus Rapid Transit.
The Loop Link has a few features of Bus Rapid Transit, but not all.
The Loop Link's stations and raised platform boarding are great, but true BRT uses off-board fare collection so riders can board at any door, speeding up the boarding process!
With no physical infrastructure to prevent it, Loop Link dedicated bus lanes are constantly clogged with cars! True BRT uses concrete to separate car lanes and bus lanes to ensure buses are not affected by car traffic.
Jeffrey Jump (J14) express bus route has a few features of Bus Rapid Transit, but they have been implemented piecemeal which causes overall bus performance to still lag behind true BRT. True BRT would include ALL features for the entire length of the route.
Has dedicated bus lanes but only from 67th to 83rd
Has transit signal priority but only from 73rd to 84th
Where might BRT be implemented in Chicago?
In 2013, CTA and CDOT unveiled a plan to build BRT on Ashland Avenue between Irving Park Road and 95th Street. While this project ultimately failed because of pushback from residents and a lack of political will, most people associate any mention of BRT with Ashland Avenue because of this proposal. Aside from Ashland, another route that often comes up in conversation around BRT is Western Avenue. One of the primary factors in determining if a street is well-suited to BRT is the width of the road. A study by the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) finds that a road needs to be at least 86 feet wide to accommodate BRT and other road uses like traffic, parking, bike lanes, and comfortable sidewalks. If a road less than 86 feet wide is used, other uses besides BRT may not be able to be accommodated. The image shows routes identified by the MPC study that are at least 86 feet wide.
Learn more about BRT in other cities!