Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Richard K. Brail
Mass transit, sometimes referred to as public transit or public transport , describes public and private systems that carry groups of people in a variety of vehicular configurations, called modes. Typical modes include the bus, rail rapid or heavy rail, commuter rail, light rail, and automated guideway systems. The bus, often powered by diesel fuel, typically operates in mixed traffic on city streets, although dedicated bus lanes are also found. Recent innovations include hybrid diesel-electric vehicles and technologies such as automatic vehicle location using global positioning systems (GPS), electronic fare collection, and traffic signal priority systems. Bus rapid transit (BRT) describes a system of vehicular, operational, and station improvements designed to reduce travel times and improve the trip experience. Rail rapid (also called “heavy rail”) refers to high-capacity and high-speed systems operating on a dedicated right-of-way using third-rail electric power and self-powered cars. Examples include the New York City subway, ...