|A prominent advertisement for the upcoming|
BRT stretches across a shopping center
along the corridor in Yichang, China.
But public communication shouldn’t wait for the system to open to get started. Though BRT’s short implementation periods minimize the disruption to the city’s streets, some inconvenience is inevitable during construction. A robust public communications plan helps explain the benefits to come and justify the inconveniences. Successful cities have seen public support for a system actually rise during construction, as the public learns more and becomes invested in the project.
Though the system won’t open for nearly a year, residents of Yichang can hardly turn their heads without learning more about the BRT. Advertisements on shopping centers across the city and on buildings along the corridor broadcast the message “better streets, better mobility”, display corridor maps and station renderings provided by ITDP, and list the benefits the corridor will bring. Even the traffic police are on board, handing out leaflets with helpful routes and information as they manage the shifts in traffic flow caused by construction.
|O Explicador has helped spread|
the world about how to use
Rio de Janeiro’s new BRT
In Johannesburg, South Africa, system planners engaged local residents by launching a naming contest for 16 Rea Vaya station in 2012. As construction on corridor 1b continued, the city encouraged local leaders and area residents to suggest and vote on names for stations in their districts. According to MMC for Transport Rehana Moosajee, the contest helped local residents feel a sense of ownership over the system and boosted enthusiasm ahead of the corridor opening.
“Changing the general public’s perceptions about public transportation is fundamental to building project support” – the BRT Planning Guide
Building a successful BRT system has many steps. As BRT is adopted in city after city around the globe, educating the public on how and why to use the system is critical for keeping the image of BRT on the rise. And as these cities have seen, often a little communication can go a long way.