With help from the Rockefeller Foundation, Cincinnati Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls is taking a closer look at the city’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) strategy.
Sponsored by the Institute for Sustainable Communities and the Rockefeller Foundation, she joined representatives from 12 regions across the country for a workshop focused on improving mass public-transportation via bus routes.Some of the proposed expansions include mandating right side bus-only lanes, installing additional bus stops and stations, procuring hybrid buses and improving existing buses.
Such implementations cost the city of Seattle, Wa., $29.5 million for 17 miles of bus route, or $1.74 million per mile, according to data shared during the workshop. Kansas City spent $21 million on six miles of bus routes, including new arterial buses, bus-only lanes and new stations. Since 2005, Kansas City reports a 25 percent decrease in travel-time, a 31 percent increase in overall ridership and a 15 percent increase in new riders.
Qualls says BRT discussions aim to establish “a robust transit system that would assure faster bus-based travel across the region.” She believes a more efficient BRT will positively impact city development and neighborhood access. Cost estimates are being determined for Cincinnati’s needs, based on new buses, necessary construction and the total area of bus routes.
“We are looking to learn from how [other cities] have gone about planning, to implementation,” Qualls says. She explains that the city is still early in the decision-making process and no direct action is expected for another year.
Qualls says that any BRT action will not interfere with Cincinnati’s streetcar project and that all potential planning is intended only to strengthen the city’s bus routes.
By Sean Peters