The Volvo Research and Educational Foundations will provide a $3.5 million, five-year grant to establish the Center of Excellence in Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), a consortium of researchers from four universities and EMBARQ – The World Resources Institute Center for Sustainable Transport.

The research team, headed by Pontificia Universidad Católica (PUC) in Chile, is made up of experts from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States, Portugal’s Instituto Técnico Superior de la Universidad Técnica de Lisboa and the University of Sydney’s Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies in Australia. They will provide research and analysis to support the successful deployment of existing and proposed BRT systems around the world.

“Our research will not only focus on the project level but also on how BRT systems interact with other elements of urban transportation, such as cycling lanes and pedestrian spaces, so cities can become more attractive places to live, work and visit,” said Juan Carlos Muñoz, professor of PUC’s Engineering School and director of the new center.

In addition to providing research and analysis, the center will produce case studies, educate transport practitioners and develop guidelines on how cities and transit agencies can plan, design, finance, implement and operate successful BRT systems. The center will also collaborate with the recently launched Latin American Association for Bus Rapid Transit and Integrated Transport Systems, for which EMBARQ serves as Technical Secretariat.

“These guidelines will be a major milestone in changing the way decision makers invest and design urban transport systems,” said Luis Antonio Lindau, director of Center for Sustainable Transport in Brazil (CTS-Brasil), a member of the EMBARQ Network. Lindau will help lead EMBARQ’s research team with support from Dario Hidalgo, senior transport engineer of EMBARQ and Luis Gutierrez, EMBARQ’s director for Latin America.

The Center of Excellence in Bus Rapid Transit was selected among 20 applicants. It is the eighth center funded by the foundation.