T3 Webinar Overview

Is Your Region Ready for BRT? A Los Angeles/New York ITS Peer-to-Peer Exchange

View Webinar: link to this webinar's archive materials

Originally presented under the title: Assessing the Potential for BRT in Your Region: Lessons Learned from a Los Angeles/New York ITS Peer-to-Peer Exchange

Date:   April 16, 2008
Time:  1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET
Cost:  All T3 webinars are free of charge
PDH:  1.5   View PDH Policy

T3 Webinars are brought to you by the ITS Professional Capacity Building Program (ITS PCB) at the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) ITS Joint Program Office, Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). Reference in this webinar to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by U.S. Department of Transportation.


Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has proven to be an effective way to improve the efficiency of bus service, attract more transit riders, and enhance overall passenger mobility. BRT offers integrated and customer-friendly transit services by employing many components of fixed guideway service, including the use of intelligent transportation systems (ITS), running ways, enhanced stations, and system/route branding. Los Angeles was one of the first regions in the United States to implement BRT and currently has the country's most extensive BRT system. There are other BRT initiatives underway in the U.S., including several being planned in the New York City region (New York City, Westchester County, NY, the Tappan Zee Bridge/I-287 Corridor, and New Brunswick, NJ).

This webinar will focus on describing the leading service and technical attributes of BRT. This webinar stems from an ITS Peer-to-Peer Exchange in which representatives from agencies in metropolitan New York City and Los Angeles met to share information and knowledge about BRT. In this webinar, presenters from Los Angeles will describe the service and technical attributes found in the Los Angeles BRT system. Presenters from the New York City region will then describe how they are applying the lessons they learned to evaluate the potential for BRT in their current transit corridors.

Note: BRT technologies, such as bus signal priority, loop detectors, traveler information systems, and more will be discussed. This webinar will not, however, present an in-depth technical discussion of any one of these technologies.

Target Audience

  • Officials from transit agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, and state and local governments who are interested in acquiring knowledge about BRT.
  • Agency engineers and technicians interested in learning about common technologies deployed in BRT.

Learning Objectives

  • Gain insight into the services and technologies being deployed in one of the nation's most comprehensive BRT systems (Los Angeles).
  • Learn about how agency leaders in the New York metropolitan region are evaluating the suitability of BRT along well-established transit corridors.
  • Learn about approaches being considered to overcome BRT deployment issues in a multi-jurisdictional environment.


Venkat R. Pindiprolu, Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
Mr. Venkat Pindiprolu has been with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) since October 1992 and currently holds the position of Team Leader in the Office of Mobility Innovation. His team handles research in Bus Rapid Transit and Bus Propulsion Systems. Prior to joining the FTA, Mr. Pindiprolu supervised the design and construction of rail transit systems in USA. Venkat, as Manager, Systems Engineering at Maryland Mass Transit Administration (MTA), Baltimore, managed the Systems Engineering Group of the MTA that was responsible for capital programs from project initiation to completion of all electrical, electronic, and computer-based engineering systems projects. Before joining transit, Venkat had extensive experience in aircraft systems, avionics, flight simulators, flight-testing, and remotely piloted flight vehicles.

Mr. Pindiprolu served and is currently serving on several expert panels of the Transportation Research Board, National Science Foundation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Institute of Standards and Technology, IEEE Standards Committee, and Peer Review Panels of transit agencies.

Mr. Pindiprolu has a Master of Science (Electrical & Control Engineering) from Cranfield Institute of Technology, Cranfield, England; Master of Technology (Electrical Machine Design) from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India; and Bachelor of Science (Electrical Engineering) from Andhra University College of Engineering, Kakinada, India. In addition, he had extensive management and technical trainin


Naomi Klein, Westchester County Department of Transportation
Naomi Klein has over 20 years experience in the fields of planning and transportation. She has been with the Westchester County Department of Transportation since 1997. As Principal Planner, she is currently the Project Manager for the Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit Study. She also oversees other initiatives related to regional transportation planning and the Bee-Line System.

Prior to her work with Westchester County, Ms. Klein held positions at MTA Metro-North Railroad, the New York City Department of Transportation - Division of Ferry Operations, and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

Ms. Klein graduated from Oberlin College and holds a masters degree from the Cornell University School of Architecture, Art and Planning.

Jim Davis, New York State Department of Transportation
Jim Davis heads the Urban System Section in the Public Transportation Bureau of the New York State Department of Transportation, which administers the State’s Transit Operating and Capital Assistance programs. The Section also manages the multi-agency transit elements of the TRIPS123 Traveler Information System, Statewide 511 Deployment and the development of a multi-agency Downstate New York Regional Schedule Data Profile exchange standard. The Section also supports an ongoing technical forums for exchange among New York State Transit properties regarding such topics as service planning, GIS, marketing and Transit ITS deployment.

Mr. Davis has been with the Department of Transportation since 1993, working on Transit ITS, customer information, GIS and transit planning. He was actively involved in the early development of the Transit Communications Interface Profile (TCIP) standard. Prior to joining the Department of Transportation, he worked for the Bergen County Department of Planning in New Jersey on local land use and transportation modeling and planning. He received both his Masters Degree in Regional Planning and Bachelors Degree Public Policy from the State University of New York at Albany.

Rex Gephart, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Mr. Rex Gephart is the Director of Regional Transit Planning at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and is responsible for the planning and design of regional transportation projects and programs. Mr. Gephart has worked extensively in the development of the Federal Bus Rapid Transit program and pioneered development of the Los Angeles Metro Rapid Program. He manages Los Angeles MTA staff in partnership with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation in the planning, design, and implementation of Metro Rapid service, and the design, fabrication, and installation of facilities and amenities. Mr. Gephart has worked in the public transportation field for over 20 years and has a Masters Degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Chun Wong, City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation
Chun Wong is a Transportation Engineer for the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation and is a licensed Traffic Engineer in the State of California. He is currently the head of the City's Transit Priority Research and Development Section. Among the projects he has worked on are Metro Rapid Bus, Metro Orange Line, and Los Angeles Fire Department Preemption. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineer from California State University, Los Angeles and has been with LADOT for over 15 years.