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Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Istanbul and Haifa

The Arc project proposes the extensive use of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) for the east-west lateral branches of the Arc railway and infrastructure corridor. This evolving transport mode began in Curitiba, Brazil almost 25 years ago, and was upgraded in Bogota’s advanced Transmilenio system, seen here:

Bus rapid transit systems are now being developed all over the world, but until recently, there were none in the Middle East. That is changing.

First, Istanbul developed its first two BRT lines, called Metrobus, which opened in 2009:

Now, Haifa is planning and building its first lines. According to Wikipedia: “The Metronit (Hebrew: מטרונית‎, pronounced Metro-neet), will be a new bus rapid transit system in Haifa, Israel, using the Phileas concept. This bus line is unique to Israel in that it will use bi-articulated buses on specific routes. The choice of this mode of transport was due to the advantage of limiting damage to environment, increased capacity on existing roads and lower operating costs than a standard bus line or light rail line. The buses, operating with hybrid engines, will follow set routes along a magnetic or optical strip embedded in the road. The project is being developed by Yefe Nof, owned by Haifa city hall, involved in planning public transportation, infrastructure, and other building projects in the Haifa metropolitan area. The Metronit is set to be completed in 2011, and a tender for its operation was published in September 2009. The system will employ about 100 high-capacity buses on three lines.”

These nearby examples should provide helpful precedents for the development of BRT in the West Bank and Gaza.