NRDC Transit Priority Toolkit

NRDC Transit Priority Toolkit


The toolkit is a resource to inspire city governments to build on these best practices and help provide residents with faster and more reliable transportation options.

Providing faster, more reliable bus service is a high priority for cities across the country seeking to improve equity, reduce congestion, and optimize the use of limited street space. Cities are doing the work to understand where bus delay occurs and what design treatments, like bus lanes or signal changes, would reduce that delay. The challenge, however, is in communicating the value of investments in transit priority and quantifying the benefits. The American Cities Climate Challenge initiative sponsored 25 cities looking to implement strategies that slow climate change—including a strategy focused on more transit priority. Through the challenge, several cities joined together to create an adaptable toolkit that can be used to demonstrate the value of reliable transit and ultimately help achieve climate goals.

Nelson\Nygaard convened a working group of five cities to understand typical obstacles faced when trying to implement transit priority treatments. Challenges ranged from methodologies (how to quantify travel time savings) to messaging (how to help the public understand what “reliability” means). The team interviewed four cities with robust transit priority programs to learn their data and communication practices. Nelson\Nygaard developed tools, methods, and infographics focused around four desired outcomes of transit priority, such as “move more people” and “make transit a reliable choice.”

The outcome is a toolkit in presentation format that cities can easily pull from to match the audience or message they need to convey. Native files and spreadsheets were provided so cities can adapt toolkit elements to their particular needs or contexts. Cities will use the toolkit to educate, inform, and advocate for additional transit priority.

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