New York’s subways and buses serve more riders each day than the twenty next largest U.S. transit systems combined. However, the city’s outer boroughs are plagued with long distances, infrequent service, and complex routes that make it nearly impossible for a large percentage of residents to reach good-paying jobs and fundamental education. More than 750,000 New Yorkers commute over an hour each way to work, two-thirds to jobs that earn less than $35,000. Outer borough residents need something more when it comes to how they get around.
The Rockefeller Foundation and the Pratt Center for Community Development have coalesced around a transit solution called Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)—a high-performance system that combines the permanence, speed, and reliability of rail, with the flexibility of buses, at a fraction of the cost of a subway system. In the Foundation and Pratt’s new report released today, Mobility and Equity for New York’s Transit-Starved Neighborhoods: The Case for Full-Featured Bus Rapid Transit, BRT is discussed as an affordable, reliable, and practical way of getting outer borough residents from point A to point B.