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Bus Rapid Transit

Delivering the permanence, speed, and reliability of rail systems – and the flexibility of bus systems – for a fraction of the cost.

Bus Rapid Transit has been wound-down as an initiative.


A city’s transportation investments determine the shape of communities, access to jobs and services, and how much time and money people spend on getting around. Yet, subway and rail systems can be expensive and take decades to build, leaving many communities essentially cut off from economic centers.

Our Strategy
The Rockefeller Foundation’s transportation work aims to encourage economic growth and improve quality of life by helping communities to make better investments in modern, efficient, and effective transit solutions. In particular, the Foundation supports bus rapid transit (BRT), which delivers the permanence, speed, and reliability of rail systems, along with the flexibility of bus systems, for a fraction of the cost. High-quality BRT systems provide a fast, efficient service that typically features high-capacity vehicles, dedicated lanes, elevated platforms that are level with the vehicles, enclosed stations, and off-bus fare collection.

For the past few years, The Rockefeller Foundation has supported research, design, and convening efforts around BRT, as well as local BRT explorations in Boston, Nashville, Pittsburgh, and Montgomery County, MD.

Currently, the Foundation is supporting two U.S. cities with their efforts to develop world-class BRT systems:

  • Chicago: The Rockefeller Foundation has supported Chicago’s process to build a BRT system, from stakeholder outreach and education to site visits. As a result, construction will begin on the “Loop Link” Transit Project in 2015, which will connect neighborhoods across the city to downtown transportation hubs and the Central Business District.
  • New York City: The Rockefeller Foundation has engaged New York City officials and other key stakeholders to explore the potential of BRT to better meet the needs of NYC residents—particularly those living in the outer boroughs who rely on public transit to connect with jobs and economic opportunity.

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