Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
To expand Metro Transit service and reduce travel times across the region, the City of Madison is working to implement a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. An initial corridor is in development that will operate east to west through Madison's downtown and the University of Wisconsin campus areas.
The proposed BRT is planned to operate every 15 minutes and will complement, not replace, Metro’s current service. More than 80,000 residents and almost 120,000 jobs are within a 10-minute walk of planned BRT routes.
The Need for a BRT
The Madison region is growing rapidly, and Metro Transit is getting ready to move forward to better serve the changing community.
Through the past many years, Metro Transit has experienced a great deal of success and high ridership. In 2019, Madison was ranked #5 in the country by Wallethub in their Cities with the Best Public Transportation list.
Also in 2019, Madison was ranked as the #3 place to live by Livability.com. Madison’s continued popularity and growth is expected to create 85,000 new jobs and 100,000 new residents in Dane County. This would create 800,000 new road trips to work, school and play.
Gridlock from Madison’s projected job growth is expected to more than double travel times on the road. If people travel alone in their cars to these new jobs, we’d need additional lanes on the isthmus and parking costs would top more than $250 million.
In 2018, the City of Madison adopted the Imagine Madison Comprehensive Plan which placed a heavy emphasis on transit. With over 15,000 resident interactions, the plans shows that as a community we do not want accommodate this growth by adding lanes or building roads.
Metro's current system is now in a position where it needs to grow with the region, become more efficient, and operate more frequently, especially during off-peak hours.
As a result, the City of Madison is now working to add bus rapid transit (BRT) corridors to make Metro’s current transit system work smarter and faster.
What is Bus Rapid Transit?
Cities around the country are launching BRT systems to improve transit reliability, shorten travel times, reduce congestion, and support economic development.
A Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is a high-quality bus-based transit system that delivers fast, comfortable, and cost-effective service with a high-level of capacity.
This is done through the use of specialized lanes, dedicated boarding stations, off-board fare collection, and fast and frequent operations.
BRT in Madison Features:
- Operates approximately every 15 minutes for most of the day, with service on weekends
- Less frequent stops
- Dedicated lanes to allow vehicles to stay on schedule and move efficiently through through traffic
- Traffic signal priority intersections allowing buses to trigger green lights to stay on schedule and reduce travel time
- Articulated buses that hold more passengers
- High quality boarding stations with real-time information, covered seating, bicycle access and enhanced pedestrian crossings
- Will work together with Metro's current system to create fast and efficient connections throughout the region