BRT TERMINOLOGY

Key words and phrases that often come up when discussing Bus Rapid Transit are defined below. If you've come across a word or phase that you're not familiar with and is not on this list, please let us know!

ARTICULATED BUS

A 60-foot-long bus, comprised of two sections, joined by an accordion-like feature that allows for more passengers than a standard 40-foot bus. Articulated buses are able to make tight turns.

BAT LANE

Business Access & Transit Lane, also called Bus and Turn Lane. Curbside lanes that are reserved or prioritized for right-turns and transit only.

BATTERY ELECTRIC BUS (BEB)

Bus powered by electricity via an onboard battery. 

BI-DIRECTIONAL

Service that operates in both directions.

 

BRANDING

Providing a unique identity for a BRT system to differentiate it from the local bus system.

BRIDGEPLATE

Device that extends from the door of a transit vehicle to bridge the gap between the vehicle and the platform.  

 

BUS RAPID TRANSIT (BRT)

An enhanced bus service that operates on bus lanes or other transit ways. It combines the flexibility of bus service with the efficiency of rail service. 

CNG

Compressed natural gas. 

DEDICATED LANE

A travel lane with special markings indicating that it is for use by buses only.

DWELL TIME

The amount of time it takes for passengers to disembark and board a bus at a stop. 

FEDERAL TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION (FTA)

Federal agency responsible for funding and regulating public transit systems. 

 

FREQUENCY

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

GUIDEWAY

Separate right-of-way for transit vehicles.

HEADWAY

The average interval of time between buses moving in the same direction on the same route. A 15-minute headway means buses are scheduled to arrive at a specific stop every 15 minutes. 

 

HYBRID BUSES 

Buses that are powered by both diesel and battery electric power. 

LEVEL BOARDING

Where the floor of the transit vehicle is level with the station platform or boarding area, eliminating the need for steps or lifts. 

MOBILITY ON DEMAND (MOD) 

MetroNow Service. On-demand public transit service option that is more flexible and similar to Uber or Lyft. 

OFF-BOARD FARE COLLECTION

Use of ticket vending machines or web-based applications enabling customers to pay for fares in advance. 

OFF-PEAK

Time between peak periods, typically in the middle of the day, at night, and on weekends.

 

PEAK 

Time of day with the highest amount of ridership and service. This is typically during the morning and afternoon commute periods. 

PYLON

Tall markers that identify stations. 

RED LANES

Bus-only lanes identified with red paint or markings.

QUEUE JUMP LANE

Lane segment at an intersection that allows buses to bypass general traffic that is stopped at a traffic signal and gets to the front of ("jump") the line. Typically, the lane is coordinated with a special signal that provides the bus with an early green light before the general traffic (see TSP).

REAL-TIME INFORMATION 

Using vehicle tracking technology to provide accurate next bus arrival times. 

RUB RAIL

Plastic rail on the side of a station platform that allows transit vehicles to stop close to the platform, minimizing the gap between the station platform and transit vehicle

RUNNING WAY

The lane used by a transit vehicle. 

 

SHARED LANE

Lanes that allow more than one type of vehicle use.

SPAN OF SERVICE

The time of day from when service starts and service ends. 

 

TICKET VENDING MACHINE (TVM)

Devices that allow customers to pay their transit fare prior to boarding. 

TRANSIT CENTER

Facility where customers can transfer from one route or service to another

 

TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT 

New development or redevelopment in the vicinity of a transit station that promotes walkability and mixed uses. 

TRANSIT SIGNAL PRIORITY (TSP, ALSO CALLED TRAFFIC SIGNAL PRIORITY) 

Traffic signal modifications that detect the location of a transit vehicle and adjust the timing of a signal's red and green cycles to provide an early green light or extend a green light, allowing the transit vehicle to pass through the intersection before other traffic.

ZERO EMISSION VEHICLE

Non-carbon emitting bus, typically powered electrically or via hydrogen fuel cells.