Every year, about 80,000 new residents move to the Maricopa region—an average of 220 people every day. That makes Maricopa County the fastest growing county in the nation for the third year in a row. While this growth brings job opportunities and economic prosperity, it also means challenges for the region’s transportation system. Valley drivers currently spend about 62 hours a year stuck in traffic. In order to keep pace with this growth, the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) continually works to explore alternative transportation solutions. One option under study is Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). MAG is currently conducting a public survey to gauge the community’s interest in this type of transit service. “Bus Rapid Transit includes several distinctive features that make it more efficient than traditional bus service,” said Jennifer Valentine, a transportation planner at MAG who manages the project. “BRT often makes use of dedicated travel lanes, so the buses can travel faster than cars. BRT can provide service levels similar to light rail, but with more flexible implementation options.” Intersection enhancements, such as traffic signal priority that allows BRT vehicles to start ahead of other traffic, can further improve travel time and reliability. Combined with the dedicated travel lanes, BRT systems can move thousands of passengers per hour. “More efficient travel means commuters spend less time in traffic and more time with their families,” said Valentine. Other BRT features include platform-level boarding, which allows quick and easy boarding for all passengers, including those using strollers, wheelchairs, and other mobility devices. Stations often provide benches, shade and other amenities, and buses may include Wi-Fi and premium seating to improve passenger comfort. Buses arrive at the station every few minutes, which can make BRT a convenient and reliable travel choice. For more information about MAG’s current BRT study and to provide your thoughts on BRT, visit the study page at https://www.azmag.gov/brtstudy . For more about the benefits of BRT, MAG invites you to watch our short, informative video at https://www.youtube.com/user/MAGCommunications .