The promoters have repeatedly claimed that the trolleybus scheme is “Bus Rapid Transit.” But to qualify as such, the majority of the route would have to be segregated from other traffic. This fact is recognised by the BRT Standard 2014, a document drawn up by the the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, which sets out the criteria by which a bus rapid transit scheme can be judged.
During the public inquiry, the BRT Standard was used to challenge Metro’s claim that the trolleybus scheme is a bus rapid transit scheme.
In response, consultant Jason Smith of Mott MacDonald submitted a document which claims that NGT does indeed have a qualifying percentage of segregated route.
Examination of Mr Smith’s document shows that he has over-stated the percentage of NGT route that qualifies as “Dedicated right of way.” He has done this by including general bus lanes in the category “Dedicated right of way.” It states on page 16 of the BRT Standard 2014, “The scoring system is based on the amount of corridor that has dedicated right-of-way for BRT services.” So Mr Smith is wrong to include general bus lanes in his total.
So whereas Mr Smith has calculated that 97% of the NGT route qualifies as “Dedicated right of way,” in fact, just 37% qualifies.
So NGT, instead of scoring 6 points under “Dedicated right of way” actually scores just 2 points. This is made clear on page 16 of the BRT Standard 2014.
The category “Dedicated right of way” is a “BRT Basic” and because NGT has scored less than 4, it is not allowed to be called “Bus Rapid Transit.” This is explained on page 14 of the BRT Standard 2014.
In addition, the scheme has to qualify as BRT Basic in order to qualify for the any of the Gold, Silver or Bronze standards. This is explained on page 10 of the BRT Standard 2014.
In the light of all of the above, Mr Smith is wrong to claim that NGT qualifies for the Bronze standard, and the promoters are wrong to call NGT, “Bus Rapid Transit.”