Bus Rapid Transit: Chicago's New Route to Opportunity

August 17, 2011

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Enrique Peñalosa and Gabe Klein

According to the Metropolitan Planning Council, the time has come for bus rapid transit (BRT) in Chicago. Around the world, BRT systems are transforming cities, revitalizing neighborhoods, easing congestion, and increasing quality of life. Nowhere is that more true than in Bogotá, Colombia, where the world's premier BRT system has remade that city. Here in the U.S., early attempts at BRT in places like Cleveland, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles have been instructive, but haven't fully lived up to BRT's potential as a cost-effective and transformative transportation investment. One reason is that BRT investments have yet to be sufficiently aligned with such livability goals as providing people better access to educational and employment opportunities, or connecting underserved neighborhoods to existing rapid transit networks.

Listen in as the Metropolitan Planning Council releases Bus Rapid Transit: Chicago's New Route to Opportunity, a vision for Chicago’s transportation and community development future that puts people—not steel, rubber, or pavement—first. Bus Rapid Transit: Chicago's New Route to Opportunity assesses the top 10 routes in Chicago where BRT is feasible, best supports existing community assets, and fills accessibility gaps in the current transit network.

The roundtable features Enrique Peñalosa, former mayor of Bogota and current board president of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), examines that city's BRT experience and lessons learned. ITDP's Annie Weinstock makes the case for gold-standard BRT, and Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein examines the new administration's BRT goals.

Recorded Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at the Metropolitan Planning Council.