Kaid Benfield Archive


Bus rapid transit: c'est la bonne vie!

Kaid Benfield

Posted October 3, 2008 at 1:42PM

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 "Bus rapid transit" sounds like an oxymoron, especially to US residents.  But that needn't be the case, as this great little film on the system in Paris demonstrates:


 Filmmaker Elizabeth Press of the Livable Streets network and Streetfilms explains:

"Le Mobilien is Paris' version of what we know as a bus rapid transit system or a surface mass transport network. Paris has been doing "bus rapid transit" for decades, and after years of on-street operation and continuous fine-tuning they have now developed a system which they call the "Mobilien" - French for MOBI-lity plus "LIEN" which means link.  Linking mobility. Unlike the BRTs that most US cities are looking at, the Mobilien adapts to different city contexts (i.e. street width and specific neighborhood dynamics).  Mobilien doesn't aim at producing top speeds but making steady progress through the traffic stream.   

It launched in Paris after three years of planning in 2004 with the goal of cutting down on car traffic. To make the project possible, Paris' officials eliminated much on-street parking to create dedicated bus lanes that are shared with bicycles, taxis and emergency vehicles. Eric Britton from the new Mobility Agenda took me on a tour of Mobilien."

The film was a little slow to load for me, but worth the wait while I did some other things.  For more on BRT, do a quick search on Reconnecting America's highly informative websiteA la prochaine fois.