Active Transportation

Complete streets, transit, bikeway, and pedestrian planning, design, and performance measurement

Bus Rapid Transit: Planning, Design, Operations

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is an adaptable, cost-effective mode of public transportation suitable for deployment in both larger and smaller cities worldwide. The optimal BRT functions like light rail transit, but on existing streets as a premium express urban bus transit service. BRT can either supplement or replace existing bus networks, as well as either supplement or substitute for light rail transit services. BRT offers the opportunity to expand urban and regional transit networks for less cost and in less time than rail transit alternatives. Additionally, BRT can serve as a medium-term alternative to rail transit until demand for the more expensive but higher capacity mode is proven.

There are many versions of BRT deployment, but best practices include: install bus rapid transit on dedicated bus lanes with traffic signal preemption capabilities at intersections, distinctive vehicles, enhanced bus stop amenities, wider stop spacing than convention urban bus transit, platform-level boarding, and unique branding. BRT corridors need to be evaluated carefully with attention to population and employment density and growth forecasts, right of way availability, ridership and cost compared to transit modal alternatives, and ease or difficulty in implementation. Successful BRT lines and networks build transit mode share by offering a time-competitive alternative to the private motor vehicle.

Additional course detail is provided in the sections below.

  • Course Topics
    • Definition, attributes, & history of BRT
    • BRT benefits & costs
    • Varieties of BRT deployment
    • BRT vehicles
    • BRT stop amenities
    • Marketing BRT
    • BRT corridor and system planning
    • Optimal BRT
  • Course Outline

    MODULE 1: Course Overview & Student Activities

    Learning Objective: Understand the nature of the course and student involvement

    1.A Course Introduction & Overview (30 minutes)

    1.A.1 Introduction of the course
    1.A.2 Content overview
    1.A.2 Student involvement

    MODULE 2: Course Overview, BRT Definition and Attributes

    Learning Objective: Appreciate the definition, attributes, history, and practice of BRT

    2.A BRT Definition, Evolution, & Attributes (30 minutes)

    2.A.1 Definition of BRT
    2.A.2 Attributes of BRT
    2.A.3 Evolution of BRT in America & abroad

    2.B BRT Case Studies (75 minutes)

    2.B.1 BRT Abroad
    2.B.2 BRT in North America

    MODULE 3: BRT Planning

    Learning Objective: Understand the BRT planning process

    3.A BRT Planning (75 minutes)

    3.A.1 Creating a vision
    3.A.2 Inter-disciplinary team & stakeholders
    3.A.3 Planning a BRT Network
    3.A.4 BRT as a complementary element in a transit system

    MODULE 4: BRT Planning, Part 2

    Learning Objective: Learn how to select the right BRT plan

    4.A BRT Project Selection (60 minutes)

    4.A.1 Defining the BRT Corridor, including the appropriate options for the corridor.
    4.A.2 Evaluating the BRT Corridor and selecting the right project

    MODULE 5: BRT Design, Part 1

    Learning Objective: Learn components of BRT design

    5.A BRT Travel Way & Equipment (60 minutes)

    5.A.1 Travel way
    5.A.2 Equipment

    MODULE 6: BRT Design, Part 2

    Learning Objective: Learn components of BRT design

    6.A BRT Stops & Intersection Treatments (75 minutes)

    6.A.1 Stop treatments & spacing

    6.A.2 Intersection treatments
    6.A.3 Traffic analysis

    MODULE 7: BRT Access & Modal Integration

    Learning Objective: Appreciate the important aspects of BRT multimodal access & integration

    7.A BRT Access & Modal Integration (45 minutes)

    7.A.1 The “last mile” access to BRT

    MODULE 8: BRT Brand Identity & Marketing

    Learning Objective: Learn best practices in BRT branding & marketing

    8.A TOD Branding & Marketing (45 minutes)

    8.A.1 BRT brand identity
    8.A.2 Marketing BRT

    MODULE 9 – Case Studies

    Learning Objective: Putting it all together

    9.A BRT Case Studies (45 minutes)

  • What you will learn

    Students will acquire BRT planning and design capability, including how to design a BRT line/network, select BRT vehicles and stop amenities, BRT branding and marketing, and integrating BRT with other transit modes. Students will also increase their understanding of the interdisciplinary collaboration essential in creating a successful BRT line or system.

  • Who should attend

    The course is intended for planning staff in local, regional, and state agencies, as well as consultants. Community planners, public transit planners, transportation planners, traffic engineers, urban designers, land developers, and decision-makers will all find the course useful.

    The course is appropriate for both urban and the suburban perspectives.

  • Course Prerequisites

      [no prerequisites identified]

  • Course Instructors

      James Lightbody, Senior Project Manager, Lightbody Consulting

      Mr. Lightbody is a Senior Project Manager with extensive experience working in transportation and community development. He is currently managing transportation projects for the City of Mountain View and recently served as Interim Chief Transportation Official with the City of Palo Alto. Mr. Lightbody has also managed transit and corridor planning projects for AECOM. He has been lead instructor and course developer for the Bus Rapid Transit training course sponsored by the National Transit Institute. Prior to joining AECOM, Mr. Lightbody served for 33 years as a senior manager with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), most recently as Deputy Director for Planning and Development. Mr. Lightbody also represented VTA on the BRT Consortium established by FTA and participated on TCRP panels conducting BRT research.

      Ronald Kilcoyne, Senior Manager, TMD Consulting Services

      Mr. Kilcoyne is a transit professional with 39 years of experience. Ron is currently Senior Manager with TMD (Transit Management and Design) Consulting. He previously served as General Manager for Lane Transit District in Eugene OR, Greater Bridgeport Transit in Bridgeport CT and Santa Clarita Transit in CA and Manager of Research and Planning for AC Transit in Oakland CA. Ron oversaw the planning and design of the third phase of Eugene's BRT system and led the first complete restructuring of the AC Transit route network. Ron is currently chair of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Urban Design Standards Group and co-chair of APTA's Land Use and Economic Development sub -committee. He has advised USGBC regarding credits and prerequisites relating to access for LEED classifications.

  • Registration Information

      Registration for this course occurs at the TechTransfer training host site. Use the button to the right to directly access the course page and registration portal. You will be asked to create a user account as part of the registration process.

      A confirmation email will be sent to you within two business days of TechTransfer receiving your paid registration.

      If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the TechTransfer Registrar at (510) 643-4393 or

  • For more information

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      Cancellation Policy:

      The cancellation fee for this course is $75. At TechTransfer, there are no refunds for classes with registration fees of $75 or less. For all other classes, you may cancel your enrollment and receive a refund of your registration fee less $75, provided they receive your written request to cancel at least 5 full working days before the class is scheduled to begin. In lieu of canceling your registration, you may (1) transfer your registration to another TechTransfer class, (2) receive a tuition credit for the full amount, useable toward a future class, or (3) send a substitute in your place.

      Note: TechTransfer recommends you discuss any possible problems or online security issues with your IT person before you register for any online classes. If you are worried about connectivity issues, please contact the online training coordinator the week before the class to schedule a time to test your system. If you do not test your system and you have technical issues during a live online class, we will not provide a refund.

LTAP Subsidized

This class is offered at a reduced fee to employees of California's city, county, regional, and tribal public agencies

Course Fee

Standard Rate:

Public Agency Rate:



[information not available]

Course Credit

This course grants:

1.00 CEUs

Upcoming Sessions (0)

[not currently scheduled]


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California LTAP Center

Phone: (562) 985-2872