Exploring Bus Rapid Transit: A Comparison of York Region and Ottawa's BRT Systems

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Moebs, Laura
Public Transportation , Bus Rapid Transit
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is an alternative mode of public transportation that is often considered superior to the conventional bus system. This report offers a comparison of two BRT systems between a newly established one in York Region (York Region Transit’s VIVA) and a well-established one in Ottawa (OC Transpo’s Transitway). The purpose of this report is to examine the strengths of BRT, establish how BRT systems can learn from one another, and determine ways to improve various BRT systems in order to make them more attractive to potential riders. The two BRT systems were compared based on seven common criteria of BRT. It was found that both BRT systems have strengths and weaknesses and can each learn from one another. The most significant difference between the two is the fact that OC Transpo has over 30 km of its own running way, whereas VIVA currently has none; however, York Region Transit is in the process of constructing five running ways. Fortunately, despite its current lack of running ways, VIVA has managed to provide a superior bus service compared to York Region Transit’s conventional bus system. Ultimately, it has been found that BRT is an effective mode of transit that can provide efficient and sustainable transportation and has helped to increase public transit ridership.
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