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BRT Rides Will Be Roomier, Convenient and More Accessible

Get to know your new BRT system – Custom Buses: The new Phoenix BRT service will soon join the Valley’s many transportation options. This is one of a series of blog posts that explore common elements of BRT systems.

Phoenix BRT Program Team

October 3, 2022

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Phoenix’s new service will feature custom buses unlike the Valley has seen before

When people ride the new Phoenix BRT route, they will enjoy a comfortable, roomy ride thanks to custom buses that will be designed specifically for this service.  Long, sleek, and accessible, the custom buses may accommodate up to 125 people at a time, with plenty of additional space for bicycles.

The Vine, a BRT system that has operated in Vancouver, Washington since 2017, has deployed specialized buses that provide much of the same rider experience as a light rail line, offering 60-foot articulated buses with front and rear door boarding. In 2021, the state broke ground on its second BRT line in the system, which will operate similarly to the existing line.

A group of busses parked in formation with the sunset in the background.

The Vine uses 60-foot articulated buses with multiple boarding locations, as well as level boarding, to enhance the rider experience.

Source: The Vine

While low- and zero-emissions buses benefit the environment, the customized and enhanced BRT buses also provide greater accessibility to passengers with different abilities. Buses used on BRT routes allow for boarding at the station ramp height, known as level boarding, which makes it easier for people in wheelchairs to access.  

In Omaha, Nebraska, where a BRT line called ORBT has operated since November 2020, the 60-foot articulated buses offer passengers creature comforts such as air conditioning and Wi-Fi service. In addition, the buses also carry bicycles in special racks.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s BRT system, dubbed the Healthline, features 24 hybrid-electric vehicles with doors that open on both sides. The specialized buses produce 90 percent fewer emissions than standard buses.

Blue bus stationed at a bus stop with trees behind it.

Cleveland’s Healthline offers a hybrid-electric 60-foot articulated bus with multiple boarding options.

Source: Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

Like the BRT service itself, the buses that work along the Phoenix routes will be unique, accessible and rider-friendly.