Rapid Transit is the term for a type of transit service that is reliable, convenient, and, as the name states, rapid. It connects larger numbers of people over longer distances, providing an advantage over cars that can be slowed by congestion. You can use a variety of vehicles to provide this service and it complements a local bus system to provide better customer service. Studies have found that for rapid transit to be effective vehicles should come at least every 15 minutes and operate separately from traffic as often as possible. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) can meet these requirements, without the cost and infrastructure demands of rail service.
Local bus routes tend to have many stops, sometimes only a block or two apart, sometimes on circuitous routes, and bus stops that range from simple signs to shelters with seating and trash cans. A fare box on the bus allows riders to swipe their transit passes or feed cash into the machine as they enter, which can create lines.
By contrast, BRT services have the following elements, which result in a faster, more frequent, and more reliable form of transit: