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Bus Rapid Transit

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why invest in BRT? 

Ridership in existing BRT corridors remained strong throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and has recovered more quickly than other service types, reflecting a demand for more all-day, all-purpose service. 

As of early-2023, BRT ridership represented nearly 15% of regional rides. Ridership in corridors served by the region’s newest BRT lines – the D Line and Orange Line – is approaching pre-pandemic levels. 

BRT investments also support regional equity goals: About 44% of the people within a quarter mile of a BRT line identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC), and about 13% of the households do not have access to a vehicle today. 

In parts of some BRT corridors, buses carry more than 20-45% of people traveling on vehicles and make up less than 2-3% of vehicle traffic. 

How does BRT improve service? 

On typical local bus corridors, buses travel less than 10 miles per hour and spend more than half their time boarding customers, waiting at a light, or delayed by traffic. 

BRT lines are up to 25% faster than the local routes they replace. Service is sped up through the use of bus lanes, off-board fare payments, all-door boarding, transit signal priority, and wider stop spacing (two to three stops per mile). Where possible, stations are built on the far side of intersections (just past traffic lights) and with bumpouts that eliminate the need to pull in and out of stops. 

Trips also operate every 10-15 minutes throughout most of the day, every day. 

What do BRT stations look like? 

Standard features at BRT stations include real-time signs, security cameras, emergency phones, lighting, on-demand heat, ticket machines, and trash/recycling containers. 

How are BRT lines planned and funded?

BRT lines are generally funded through a mix of federal, state and Metropolitan Council funds. In many cases, local funding partners also leverage BRT construction to make corridors more accessible and pedestrian- and bike-friendly.

How were BRT corridors selected?

The Purple and Gold lines were identified through local planning processes led by metro counties. 

In 2020, we asked what priorities should guide future arterial BRT investments. Nearly half of respondents ranked advancing equity as their top priority. Arterial BRT operates on major arteries with traffic, not in dedicated lanes. Sequencing of investments was also informed by road construction plans developed by local partners. Where possible, BRT construction is aligned with road construction. Learn more about corridors where BRT investments may be made in the future here