Tracking the global evolution of bus rapid transit with BRTData.org
As advanced bus systems continue to gain traction worldwide, users are spending less time stuck in traffic and more time being productive and living their lives. In Rio de Janeiro, a city of more than 6 million residents, 48.7 percent of all daily commutes are made by public transport, with the majority of these trips taken by bus. At 140 kilometers, Rio’s bus priority system is currently the longest in the world, and provides more than 3 million daily passengers with high quality, efficient mobility. For example, the city’s TransOeste BRT corridor—which carries 184,000 passengers each day—has cut travel time in half for commuters.
Accomplishments like this require consistent and reliable data collection so that transport authorities can properly analyze and substantiate BRT’s impact. BRTData.org serves this function by compiling comprehensive data and generating informative data visualizations.
BRTData.org is managed by EMBARQ Brasil, and is now available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Visitors to the site can access data for bus priority and BRT systems in 190 cities on six continents. According to BRTData.org, the world’s 4,991 kilometers of BRT and bus corridors serve more than 31.6 million people daily. This reliable data provides researchers, transport agencies, local governments, media, and NGOs with critical evidence to inform their work.
Helping city leaders develop efficient transport solutions
BRTData.org allows users to compare data at the continent, country, and city levels, and to create revealing data visualizations. The tool assists researchers, engineers, urban planners, and city leaders in their efforts to evaluate and improve urban transport.
According to Daniela Facchini, Projects and Operations Director for EMBARQ Brasil, "The available data is aimed at improving access to information, ensuring greater transparency in projects and providing clear guidelines for decision makers. The platform is also a source of reliable and updated information for researchers and journalists seeking data about urban mobility.”
Users can access a range of BRT indicators, including the modal shares of public, private, and non-motorized transport, average fares, daily demand, and bus frequency. The entry for São Paulo’s system, for example, shows that the city’s BRT serves more than 3,164,000 passengers daily—the largest BRT ridership in the world. In past years, under the leadership of Mayor Fernando Haddad, the city has prioritized investment in its bus system over new infrastructure for cars. BRTData.org provides evidence to inform this policy direction, helping Latin America’s largest cities develop connected, reliable urban transport networks and raise residents’ quality of life.
While the database has existed since 2010, BRTData.org saw an overhaul of its interface in December 2014 to become more user friendly. The platform is a project of Across Latitudes and Cultures - Bus Rapid Transit Center of Excellence (ALC-BRT) and is made possible by a partnership between EMBARQ, ALC-BRT, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Latin American Association of Integrated Transport Systems and BRT (SIBRT). BRTData.org is currently managed and updated by EMBARQ Brasil.