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Phoenix Bus Rapid Transit Program​

In 2015, Phoenix voters approved Proposition 104, creating the 35-year street and transit plan known as Transportation 2050 or T2050. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) was identified as a key component of T2050 to continue expanding our city's high capacity transit network.

As a new transit option for Phoenix, BRT will transform and improve transit speed, reliability and overall rider experience. Pho​​enix BRT is being developed with community input and collaboration and based on where current and future transit ridership shows the most need. 

corridor image

What is happening now? 

The City of Phoenix has selected its first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor – 35th Avenue/Van Buren Street – and we want to connect with YOU to share an overview of the corridor, provide insight into where we are in the project and next steps, and hear your thoughts! Visit MeetPhoenixBRT.com​ to learn more! ​

Sign Up Now! ​Keep up to date with news ​and information about the Phoenix Bus Rapid Transit program. 

Bus Rapid Transit 101

​What is BRT?

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a high capacity bus service that operates throughout the day on major roads with a focus on improved speed, reliability, convenience and overall transit experience.  Some of the elements found in BRT systems include enhanced stations, custom buses, advanced fare collection, unique branding, dedicated lanes and transit spot improvements (such as queue jump lanes and transit signal priority).   ​ 

Elements of BRT 

 Advanced fare collection Transit spot improvements Enhanced stations

 Custom buses Dedicated lanes Unique branding

 ​Why BRT? 
  • BRT is part of our commitment to you in the Transportation 2050 plan.

  • Expands mobility choices to help keep pace with region's growing transportation needs. For more information on regional efforts visit Maricopa Association of Governments.

  • Improves speed and reliability of existing transit network in Phoenix.

  • Assists riders traveling across Phoenix and connecting to other cities.

How is BRT Different from RAPID/Express? 

Community Engagement

The purpose of this Communit​y Education and Engagement Plan (CEEP)​​ is to provide education, seek input, and foster community collaboration through the next phase of technical analysis and detailed planning that will identify specific design alternatives for the 35th Avenue and Van Buren Street corridor. In April 2022, Phoenix City Council approved the Phoenix BRT Program to continue community education and engagement, alternatives analysis, and 15% design plans for the initial Bus Rapid Transit corridor: 35th Avenue and Van Buren Street. The community education and engagement effort is a major component of this program and will continue to include citywide education for BRT, as well as corridor-specific community and business engagement. 

Community Outreach Phase 2 - Spring 2023
In Spring 2023, the Phoenix Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) team launched the second phase of community outreach to educate and engage the public on the BRT Program. Outreach focused on educating the public on the elements and characteristics of BRT, the preliminary alternative concepts, and the evaluation criteria for the alternatives analysis process for the 35th Avenue and Van Buren Street corridor.
  • Community Engagement Summary Phase 2 - Spanish 
​Past Outreach Efforts 
Community Outreach Phase I - Fall 2022

In fall 2022, the Phoenix BRT program began its alternatives analysis and conceptual design process for the 35th Avenue/Van Buren Street Corridor. During this phase, the team evaluated existing conditions and collected input from the community o​n their needs for the BRT corridor.  The Community Outreach Phase I included a survey – called the BRT Corridor Survey ​– that sought public input on preferences for BRT along the corridor as well as business-specific information. 

  • BRT Corridor Outreach Phase I- Survey Summary

Ways to Participate ​​​

Public Meetings 

The City of Phoenix has selected its first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor – 35th Avenue/Van Buren Street – and we want to connect with YOU to share an overview of the corridor, provide insight into where we are in the project and next steps, and hear your thoughts! ​Visit MeetPhoenixBRT.com​ to learn more! 

Sign Up N​ow! Keep up to date with news ​and information about the Phoenix Bus Rapid Transit program. ​​

May 31, 2023 Formal Meeting  

May 17, 2023 Transportation, Infrastructure, and Planning Subcommittee  

April 27, 2023 Citizens Transportation Commission  

April 11, 2023 and April 13, 2023 BRT Pop-Up Events  

  • Tuesday, April 11, 2 p.m. at Metrocenter Transit CenterSouthwest corner of Metro Parkway West and Mission Lane   
  • Thursday, April 13, 2 p.m. at Central Station Transit Center302 N 1st Avenue

April 4, 2023 Virtual Public Meeting  

March 21, 2023 and March 28, 2023 In-Person Public Meetings 

Tuesday, March 28 | 5:30 – 7 PM 
Trinity United Methodist Church – 3104 W Glendale Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85051​

Tuesday, March 21  | 5:30 – 7 PM 

​Carl Hayden Community High School – 3333 W Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ 85009

English Public Meeting Presentation 

Spanish Public Meeting Presentation 

February 24, 2022 Citizens Transportation Commission Meeting 

September 15, 2021 Transportation, Infrastructure and Planning Commission Meeting 

May 27, 2021 Citizens Transportation Commission Meeting 

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Frequentl​y Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

Learn more about the Phoenix BRT Program.​

Question 1: What is BRT?

Answer: BRT, or bus rapid transit, is a modern, high capacity bus network that improves travel speed and reliability, passenger capacity, and the customer experience through various available transit enhancements. BRT uses specialized buses with multiple doors for fast entry and exit, an off-board fare payment system, and level platform boarding, making it easier for people of all abilities to efficiently access the system. It can also include priority treatment at signalized intersections to increase speed and reliability and may include dedicated bus lanes in some areas to facilitate faster trips. ​

Question 2: What are some typical elements of BRT?

Answer: There is no universal standard for BRT, as it is planned and designed to best meet the needs of the community. Phoenix BRT program elements may include:

  • ​Custom buses and enhanced bus stations with level boarding

  • Off-board fare payment; for example, purchase fares on your phone or at a kiosk, instead of paying as you board the bus

  • Unique branding

  • Transit spot improvements such as traffic signal priority for buses at intersections

  • Dedicated bus lanes for BRT vehicles

Question 3: Why BRT?

Answer: Transportation 2050, a comprehensive transportation plan crafted and approved by Phoenix voters, included bus rapid transit as a key element of the plan. BRT provides a valuable new “tool" in the mobility toolbox, adding to the metropolitan area's comprehensive transportation system in a way that complements and enhances it, and increasing the number of transportation options we have in Phoenix. The 35th Avenue/Van Buren BRT corridor currently has some of the highest transit ridership in the city. The need for priority bus investment is well documented, as traveling “across the grid" in Phoenix can be very time consuming. Implementing BRT will be a major improvement to Phoenix's grid-based transit network.

Question 4: Why not just improve local bus service? 

Answer: Local bus operates in local traffic, subject to the same congestion delays as that traffic. BRT can – and typically does – include a variety of elements that allow it to operate more efficiently through traffic congestion. Some of these elements include dedicated travel lanes and transit spot improvements like queue jump lanes (allowing BRT a head start at an intersection) and transit signal priority (adjusting red or green light timing to better accommodate BRT). These elements help to make BRT about 20 to 25 percent faster than local bus service – a big difference in travel time.

Question 5: What is a queue jump?

Answer: A queue jump is used to provide preference to buses at intersections. It consists of an additional lane at an intersection, accompanied by its own traffic signal, allowing buses to merge smoothly back into the regular through lanes; giving buses a head start over other traffic. For more information about queue jumps, visit the Transit Street Design Guide.

Question 6: What is Transit Signal Priority?

Answer: Transit Signal Priority (TSP) is a technology that allows BRT vehicles to communicate with traffic signals within the designated BRT corridor. TSP can help vehicles move more quickly through the corridor and increase transit reliability via two methods:

  • ​Extended Green: When a BRT vehicle is approaching a green signal that is about to turn yellow, it may request that the signal's green phase be extended by a few seconds to allow the vehicle to travel the intersection. 

  • Early Green: Likewise, a BRT vehicle approaching a red signal that is about to turn green may request that the signal turn green slightly early so that the vehicle can get through the intersection.​

Question 7: How is BRT different than current bus transit services?

Answer: RAPID and Express routes operate on freeways and utilize the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes whenever possible. RAPID and Express routes provide service in the morning and again in the evening, during the traditional commuter “rush" hours. Each has a limited number of stops that are near the beginning and end of a particular route.  

BRT provides high-capacity bus service that can operate throughout the day on major roads, and features transit enhancements that improve travel speed, transit frequency, passenger capacity, and the overall customer experience.

BRT versus RAPID and Express

​​Question 8: What are the benefits of BRT?

Answer: There are many benefits of BRT for a fast-growing city like Phoenix, which include:

  • Faster and more frequent service. BRT is often 20 to 25 percent faster than local bus service.
  • Increased cost efficiency. BRT can reduce operating costs by stopping less often, thus increasing the travel speed of the vehicle. This reduces the number of vehicles needed to adhere to headways (or frequencies) on a route.
  • Reduced travel delays. BRT can benefit transit users by removing the bus from mixed traffic in congested areas and keep passengers moving.

Question 9: How is BRT funded?

Answer: BRT is funded through the City of Phoenix voter-approved Transportation 2050 (T2050) plan. 

Question 10: How much will Phoenix BRT cost?

Answer: The cost of BRT can vary widely and is ultimately determined by the level of investment in BRT elements. We are just getting started on designing Phoenix's first BRT corridor of 35th Ave and Van Buren Street and exact costs have not yet been determined. While there is no universal standard for BRT, costs will depend on options such as station design, transit spot improvements and dedicated lanes.   

Question 11: How will BRT accommodate different abilities?

Answer: BRT provides improved accessibility for passengers of all abilities including features such as level boarding, enhanced passenger amenities at stations, more doors on the bus for better entry and exit and more room for circulation within buses and on station platforms.   

Question 12: What other cities have BRT?

Answer: BRT systems can be found in over 160 cities worldwide with dozens more under construction across the country.  Some cities include:

Question 13: What is the approved BRT corridor?

Answer: In October 2021, the Phoenix City Council unanimously approved 35th Avenue and Van Buren Street as the first BRT corridor in Phoenix. In April 2022, Phoenix City Council unanimously approved the BRT Program to continue community and stakeholder engagement, alternatives analysis, and 15%  design plans for the initial BRT corridor of 35th Avenue and Van Buren Street. ​(Map​​​


Question 14: How was the approved BRT corridor identified?

Answer: The selected corridor was identified through a tr​ansit analysis process and an 11-month city-wide outreach process which included:

  • Transit analysis maps
  • Social media
  • Program webpage (www.phoenix.gov/brt)
  • Project fact sheet
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  • “BRT 101" videos
  • Online meeting webpage (MeetPhoenixBRT.com)
  • In-person/virtual meetings with all 15 City of Phoenix Village Planning Committees
  • In-person/virtual meetings with community groups
  • News releases and television programs
  • Live virtual public meetings
  • Shape Your BRT survey

Ultimately, based on your input and results from our analysis, we identified 35th Avenue and Van Buren Street as the first BRT corridor as it provides high ridership, good geographic coverage, and connects the existing ​and future transit networks in Phoenix (particularly future light rail extensions in Phoenix).


Question 15: Does this project impact any other concurrent projects along 35th Avenue? 

Answer: As the Phoenix BRT corridor development is still in early design phases, impacts to concurrent studies or projects is unknown at this time. However, the BRT team is closely coordinating with all seven projects within the BRT corridor to develop solutions that best meet the needs of our community. For more information on concurrent projects and studies, visit their webpages below or connect with their project team:


Question 16: When will construction on the 35th Avenue and Van Buren Street Corridor begin?

Answer: The Phoenix BRT team is currently in early design, developing alternatives for the selected BRT corridor. We anticipate that construction activities for this corridor would begin in 2026.


Question 17: How will businesses along the 35th Avenue and Van Buren Street Corridor be impacted? 

Answer: As the corridor is still in early design phases, specific business impacts are unknown at this time. However, the Phoenix BRT team will work with businesses directly along the corridor to understand concerns and any unknown considerations that may help inform corridor design. If you are a business along the 35th Avenue and Van Buren Street Corridor and looking for ways to get involved and stay connected, visit MeetPhoenixBRT.com and sign up to be added to our stakeholder list. Be sure to include your business name so we can add you directly to our business stakeholder list.   ​


Question 18: How will BRT vehicles and stations accommodate the cycling community?

Answer: BRT can accommodate bicycles, either on racks on the front of the bus or racks/hangers inside of each bus. Bicycle storage features will be determined once the BRT buses are selected. In addition, BRT typically offers locations to secure bicycles at or adjacent to the station.    ​


Question 19: Will there be bike lanes along the corridor?

Answer: As we are still early in the design process, the inclusion of bike lanes along the corridor has not been decided. However, in the current design stage, the team is analyzing multiple BRT options both with and without bike lanes to determine impacts on the surrounding environment (such as right of way needed). Ultimately, our priority is to create a safe and accessible environment for the community that promotes connection.   ​


Question 20: Will there be pedestrian facilities along the corridor?

Answer: Pedestrian facilities will be included in the design of BRT corridor as the team is dedicated to creating a safe and accessible environment for pedestrians that promotes convenient travel connections.  


Question 21: How will construction impact the surrounding community?

Answer: As the project is still in early design stages, impacts to the surrounding community are unknown at this time. During the design process, we will be evaluating multiple BRT options and impacts of each to determine a BRT option that meets the community's needs, is feasible within the corridor, and aligns with the priorities for developing BRT on this corridor. The five priorities for this corridor include:

  • Develop a “showcase" BRT corridor
  • Support meaningful and equitable community engagement
  • Collaborate with concurrent projects
  • Improve travel time and reliability
  • Provide safe and accessible multimodal connections

Question 22: Will the existing bus service Route 3 and Route 35 still operate? 

Answer: Yes. The existing bus service, Route 3 on Van Buren Street and Route 35 on 35th Avenue, will continue to operate as additional service to the new BRT system.  


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Meet Phoenix BRT Community Connection Form

Keep up to date with news ​and information about the Phoenix Bus Rapid Transit program. We’re open for suggestions, questions and comments or available to just chat!

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