Bus with a High Level of Service (BHLS): European BRT Concept

Since its emergence in the 1970s, American bus rapid transit (BRT) has progressively appeared as a pertinent solution to meet ever-growing societal and environmental needs, in an urban context that is heavily dependent upon the automobile. From the "busway" to the "BRT-Lite" to the "quickway", the concept has been broadened and enriched by successive local experiences, with the unfailing support of both central governments and researchers. At the same time in Europe, cities have focused their attention on the development of heavy systems (metros, tramways) to meet massively expanded transportation needs and to favor urban (re)structuring and regeneration. Now that these efforts seem to be turning towards bus-based systems, BRT has emerged as an attractive solution to Europeans, who adapt it to their diverse contexts through the progressive implementation of bus with high level of service (BHLS). BHLS relies on the advantages of the tramway (speed, regularity, comfort, image), but its cost, capacity and flexibility place it somewhere between the "regular bus" and the tramway. In the present context of limited funding, BHLS offers new opportunities for both large urban areas desirous to pursue the development of their rapid transit systems and smaller urban areas which use it as a tool to deal with modal transfer and urban structuring issues. Initial urban BHLS experiences have been positive and created a bus-centered dynamic. Numerous innovations are in the works and the potential of this new system remains to be explored outside the dense urban areas.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: 17p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 89th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01154822
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-0339
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 10:12AM