Why Bus Rapid Transit

Waco Transit System is developing a 13-mile BRT corridor that if implemented would provide buses every 15-minutes during peak service hours; including extended service hours to 10 p.m. and service on Sundays to offer safe, reliable and efficient transit service.

The purpose for implementing BRT service in Waco would be to offer residents enhanced mobility and to provide improved access to jobs, medical and social services, and educational facilities. Ultimately, the BRT project would improve the connection between residents and employment opportunities. The proposed BRT route would also provide better and more efficient transfers to other routes operated by Waco Transit System.

How BRT Works

BRT is a high-quality bus-based transit system that provides a fast, comfortable, and safe bus ride for passengers. BRT accomplishes this by serving stations more frequently than a typical bus service and by operating in dedicated, transit-only lanes. Buses in transit-only lanes are also prioritized at traffic signals, allowing buses to move faster through intersections. In addition, BRT stations are higher-quality and offer more amenities than typical bus shelters.

The images below depict some of the BRT systems that are currently operating in the U.S.

IndyGo Red Line - Indianapolis, IN

Omaha Rapid Bus Transit - Omaha, NE

Utah Valley Express (UVX) - Provo & Orem, UT

Select Bus System (SBS) - New York City, NY

BRT Benefits

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Reduces Transit Trip Travel Time

BRT includes more frequent service with buses running every 15-minutes along the route during peak service hours. The proposed BRT project will reduce transit travel time by running in fully dedicated, transit-only lanes in some areas. See travel time savings.

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Safe and Reliable Transit Service

BRT would include extended service hours to 10 p.m. and provide service on Sundays. To keep BRT buses on schedule, traffic signals prioritize BRT to allow it to keep moving, even through busy, high-traffic intersections. BRT buses are large, carry up to 85 passengers, and feature multiple doors for quick boarding with minimal delays. BRT stations are designed to be well-lit and could feature real-time travel information and off-board fare collection technologies.

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Improved Transit Connections

This BRT project would provide greater connections between Waco and surrounding communities to area employment, social service, and educational facilities. BRT would also provide convenient transfers to other fixed routes.

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More Accessible Service Options

BRT provides level boarding between the bus floor and the boarding platform for quick and easy boarding. This design feature makes boarding BRT accessible for all passengers, including those in wheelchairs, passengers using canes, and passengers traveling with strollers and bicycles.

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Opportunity to Help Improve Traffic Flow

BRT may improve traffic flow in downtown Waco. Through dedicated transit lanes where possible and transit signal priority, BRT would offer a fast alternative through downtown that avoids traffic associated with driving alone. With four stations proposed in downtown, drivers may opt to use the service, decreasing overall traffic to one of Waco’s largest employment generators.  

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Supports Economic Growth

BRT supports the City’s vision to enhance livability in downtown Waco and supports and promotes regional economic growth. BRT transit improvements can have a positive impact on property and support diverse types of development such as Transit Oriented Development (TOD).

Technology Options and Considerations

Technology and communications support improved transit speed, efficiency, and reliability, and prioritize BRT over vehicle traffic. Communications are the systems that allow each vehicle to provide BRT service properly, interacting with traffic control and passenger information devices along the corridor. There are two primary types of communications and technologies components: on-board systems and devices and off-board systems and devices.

GPS

Global Positioning System (GPS) is a technology used in many different applications to track the location of a vehicle and provide real time information to passengers.

Fare Collection

Fare collection refers to the method of collecting passengers’ payments for using a transit service.

Automatic Passenger Counting

Automatic passenger counting (APC) uses counting devices on-board transit vehicles to collect data about the flow of passengers on and off the vehicle.

Video Survelliance / CCTV

Video surveillance systems and equipment can be installed both for on-board and off-board purposes.

Station Technology

Incorporation of automatic vehicle location system to allow real-time information at transit stations. Adding Wi-Fi hotspots as a passenger amenity at stations to allow passengers to connect to internet.

Intersection Enhancements

Intersection enhancements such as Traffic Signal Priority and Queue Jump can be used to significantly improve BRT travel times. These types of intersection enhancements allow BRT vehicles to travel more efficiently through intersections by giving them extra green time or a head start in the queue of traffic.

Transit Signal Priority  1.	Bus approached intersection and communicated with upcoming signal. 2.	Green light extends, bus proceeds through intersection. 3.	Signal resumes normal timing once bus clears intersection. Bus dwells at station. 4.	Bus merges back into travel lane when appropriate. Queue Jump  1.	Bus enters queue jump lane. 2.	Bus dwells in right turn lane at station.  3.	Bus communicates with priority signal. A few seconds before green bus travels through intersection ahead of vehicles alleviating the right turn lane.  4.	Bus merges back into travel lane. Bypass Lane  1.	Bus enters bypass lane (shared right turn lane). 2.	Bus travels  through intersection. 3.	Bus dwells safely at station. 4.	Bus merges back into travel lane.

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