Before condemning bus rapid transit you should ask what the components of a successful public transport scheme are - and flanged wheels are not an essential ingredient.
Frequency and reliability can be delivered by segregated busways just as well as by tramways. Where vehicles must mix with traffic, buses can have as much priority as trams; it is a matter of political will, not technology.
There is also no reason why the interiors of buses should not be as comfortable as the interiors of trams and ride quality can be delivered with guided busways.
Public transport needs to take people where they want to go. Trams are tied to their track, while buses can leave their busways to serve many destinations - as can be seen by a glance at the route maps of Ottawa, Brisbane or Adelaide.
As engineers we should always be considering alternative solutions. With tramways costing five times more than busways, we are failing the public if we dismiss a less expensive option. Instead we should be using our skills to deliver BRT to a quality that matches the best in LRT.
Bob Menzies, head of delivery, Cambridgeshire Guided Busway, Cambridgeshire County Council, bob.menzies1@ntlworld. com