In brief, the idea of BRT is to use buses on dedicated rights-of-way to free the transit vehicles from the entanglements of other traffic and speed up service. Often, BRT lines also make fewer stops than buses operating in regular traffic. When it works well, BRT provides service that’s nearly as good as that provided by light rail on a dedicated pathway, but at a fraction of the cost.
However, San Francisco hasn’t used BRT before, and for many transit riders, residents and business owners, the concept may take some getting used to. That adjustment, as Cityscape notes, could be partly eased by making it easy for riders to know where the stops are in relation to each other and to neighborhood destinations: “If BRT is to succeed in San Francisco, planners will have to get it right — and that includes stylish, functional maps at stops and on buses.”
If you’re interested in how San Francisco works, or more broadly interested in urban issues, you probably know the astute Cityscape already. If you don’t know it, you should. It’s always worth a visit.