Friday, November 30, 2007

Update on City of Berkeley Action on BRT

To Friends of BRT:

As you’re probably aware, on October 23 the city council passed a resolution that authorizes the City of Berkeley to move forward to analyze how BRT in Berkeley might be configured (Oakland to Dwight, Southside, Bancroft, and Downtown) and make specific recommendations to AC Transit.

Although not explicitly stated, the resolution assumed that money to pay for the work would be available from A.C. Transit.

Following passage of the resolution, staff of the City and A.C. Transit have been negotiating how to pay for the work. The costs may be greater than originally anticipated, and, as a result, it may take longer to secure the necessary funds. The City’s expectation is that transportation consulting contracts currently in place for work on the Southside and Downtown plans can be extended to cover the work on BRT. That is still the plan. The consultants will work closely with City staff (in the Planning and Public Works Departments) and U.C. Berkeley to complete the process and make recommendations to A.C. Transit.

It now appears that the work is likely to be completed by April or May 2008. This timeline will be okay with A.C. Transit.

We’ll keep you up to date as we learn more about how the process is proceeding.

Len Conly and Hank Resnik
Co-Chairs, Friends of BRT

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Discussion of Bus Rapid Transit with Enrique Penalosa

Podcast of a discussion about Bus Rapid Transit with
Enrique Penalosa, former Mayor of Bogota, Colombia,
can be heard at

Friday, November 16, 2007

Chile Learns that BRT Requires Dedicated Lanes

Some opponents of BRT in Berkeley have said that the dedicated lanes are not necessary: we could save money by providing similar service without dedicated lanes.

Today's Chronicle has an article about the failure of the new transit system in Santiago, Chile, which proves these people are wrong. Here is the key quotation from that article:

"...despite the strengths of Santiago's subway system - it is modern, fast and clean - the new integrated transportation system ignored key elements of the Bogota and Curitiba systems that have proved essential to their success: dedicated bus lanes and easy ways to buy tickets before boarding buses..."

People do not use these buses because they do not run on time.

The entire Chronicle article is available at:

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Video Of BRT In Beijing

Luke Mines, who describes himself as "a native son of Berkeley, Born in Alta Bates," now lives in
Beijing, where he does a video blog. The latest video, about transport in Beijing, includes an extended portion about BRT in Beijing and throughout China.

Beijing is building one of the world's biggest BRT networks, and there are twenty cities in China with BRT in various stages of planning and construction.

See his BRT video at