Policy makers in many large cities in Asia recently started to consider the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as an option for their urban transport. This research aims to uncover the reason why introductions of BRTs in Asia were accelerated around 2004 from the perspective of lesson-drawing. Specifically, through comparative study of policy process for introduction of BRTs in Jakarta, Seoul, and Beijing, this study examines: (1) who played important roles in lesson-drawing processes of BRTs and what were their roles; and (2) what factors motivated those actors to draw BRT lessons. Analyses were conducted through review of newspaper articles on the BRT in the three cities and a questionnaire survey with the individuals who were involved in adoption processes of those BRT systems. The findings include: (1) during the process for BRT introduction in the three cities, lessons were drawn from the Latin American good practice cases such as Curitiba and Bogotá; (2) different international organisations played important roles in technical assistance in Jakarta and Beijing; (3) strong political will was found to be a common thread in the adoption of BRTs in all three cities; and (4) the Asian economic crisis in the late 1990s seems to have affected the shift of the values of the policy makers in Jakarta and Seoul to some extent.
This paper was presented at the Better Air Quality Workshop, 2006, Yogyakarta, Indonesia