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To Attract Urban Investment, Build a Bus Line


A new study from the public transit advocacy group Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), examined the growth of transit-oriented development in 21 cities with various forms of surface public transportation. Compared to streetcars and light rail, the authors found that the bus won out big time in terms of generating high-value development at a low upfront cost.

Though transportation planners have argued over the benefits of buses versus light rail, the ITDP study is the first to show that bus lines can leverage development at great savings to cities.

The key, said the study authors, is investing in a bus rapid transit (BRT) system, like Bogotá’s well known TransMilenio. BRT requires a dedicated right-of-way, controlled-access stations, and priority for buses at intersections.

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