Effective public transit is central to development. For the vast majority of developing city residents, public transit is the only practical means to access employment, education, and public services, especially when such services are beyond the viable distance of walking or cycling. Unfortunately, the current state of public transit services in developing cities often does little to serve the actual mobility needs of the population. Bus services are too often unreliable, inconvenient and dangerous. In response, transport planners and public officials have sometimes turned to extremely costly mass transit alternatives such as rail-based metros. Due to the high costs of rail infrastructure, cities can only construct such systems over a few kilometres in a few limited corridors. The result is a system that does not meet the broader transport needs of the population. Nevertheless, the municipality ends up with a long-term debt that can affect investment in more pressing areas such as health, education, water, and sanitation. However, there is an alternative between poor public transit service and high municipal debt. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) can provide high-quality, metro-like transit service at a fraction of the cost of other options. This document provides municipal officials, non-governmental organizations, consultants, and others with an introduction to the concept of BRT as well as a step-by-step process for successfully planning a BRT system
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