5Corridor and Network Development

Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask ourselves this crucial question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn’t, it is of no use.Carlos Castaneda, author, 1925–1998

The BRT Standard (2014) currently provides a definition of a corridor that can be evaluated as "a section of road or contiguous roads served by a bus route or multiple bus routes with a minimum length of 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) that has dedicated bus lanes."

It then uses a minimum definition of BRT, defined as a minimum score in the “BRT basics,” to determine whether the investments in that corridor constitute BRT or simple bus lanes.

The choice of BRT corridors is critical. Not only will the selection of a good corridor increase the number of beneficiaries for the BRT investments, but a strategically located corridor can also, under certain circumstances, stimulate transit-oriented development with profound impacts on the future development of the city.

Ultimately, the selection of a BRT network and the prioritization of BRT corridors for implementation is both technical and political. Political decisions around corridor selection are necessary, as it is much more likely that a BRT project will get built where there is political support for the project. However, such a political decision should be made only after a detailed technical analysis recommends a set of corridors that makes sense.

Information should be grounded in empirical reality, quantifiable, and independently verifiable. Those harder to quantify, harder to determine factors should be discussed as part of the political process, but should not necessarily be included in the data collection process. This chapter provides a basic approach to defining a BRT network and prioritizing the corridors within that network for phased implementation.

Contributors: Karl Fjellstrom, Far East BRT; Walter Hook, BRT Planning International