Connecticut is Pioneering Bus Rapid Transit in America

Connecticut is Pioneering Bus Rapid Transit in America

Municipal bus systems in America aren’t known for being especially fast. They’re inexpensive and reliable, but if you need a fast mode of transport they’re typically not your best option. In any case, rapid is not an adjective most Americans would be likely to apply to their city’s buses.

In other parts of the world however, bus transit is actually quite speedy. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems were first developed in Brazil, and have since been adopted in many other countries in South America, Europe and Asia.

So what differentiates a BRT line from the bus transit systems we’re familiar with?

  • Passengers pay before they board
  • There are dedicated lanes and traffic signal priorities for buses
  • Bus stop platforms are level with bus doors

In essence, a BRT line acts as an above-ground metro rail system.

BRT lines also have a few distinct advantages over subway systems.

  • Most notably, they are far less expensive to build and maintain.
  • It’s also easier for city planners to adapt BRT lines to changes in the future.

In spite of these virtues, BRT lines have remained conspicuously absent from America’s roads until recently.

When it opened in the spring of last year, Connecticut’s BRT system became the longest of its kind in the country. It’s called CTfastrak, and it stretches nearly 10 miles between Hartford and New Britain.

CTfastrak has only been operating for a little over a year, but it’s already been very successful. The bus lanes were built over an abandoned Amtrak commuter line which made the project especially cost effective. State transit officials have plans to extend the system with other lines in the future.

Some cities such as Boston and Chicago have tried to develop BRT systems in the past, but they’ve struggled to implement them effectively. Many analysts in the transit industry are arguing that CTfastrak is currently the best, most effective BRT system in the country.

Hopefully before too long we’ll see more of these fast, efficient and affordable transit systems in other American cities as well.

Green Benefits of Bus Transportation

Check out our new infographic on the green benefits of bus transportation.
Green Benefits Infographic

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The Ameritrans 395 is a top of the line mid size touring coach. Built on the Freightliner M2 Chassis, the 395 is one of the smoothest riding bus in its class. With seating for 38 passengers, a large rear luggage compartment, and overhead parcel racks, these buses can be used for tours and charters alike. Las Vegas Bus Sales currently has many to choose from with several different options available. You can see more about this New Freightliner Bus.

 

New Freightliner Ameritrans 38 Passenger Coach

 

New-Ameritrans-M2-395-SE0508-2The 2015 M2 395 is powered by a 300 Horsepower 6.7 Liter Cummins Turbo Diesel backed by an Allison 6 Speed automatic transmission. With features like aluminum wheels, 27” flip down TV and air ride rear suspension what’s not to love? Here at Las Vegas Bus Sales we only order large air conditioning systems and this Ameritrans 395 is no exception at 157,000 BTU with dual evaporators and dual compressors. After all, it is a desert out there! Also standard is the equally important 65,000 BTU rear heater with in-line pump. We have several with the standard 2 point lap belts as well as a few units with the Freedman seats with integrated (over the shoulder) 3 point seat belts.

 

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