Casey Ross | The Boston Globe

A view of the east side of the proposed Fenway Center. The project calls for the construction of five buildings on 4.5 acres of land and air rights over the Turnpike.

Support for public transportation has grown significantly over the past decade in North America.

Major transit expansions were key issues in the recent Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg elections, and ambitious plans were green-lighted by voters in each of those cities.

In some respects, Winnipeg’s plan is the most ambitious. The incoming administration plans to expand the embryonic rapid transit system across the city. It also might be the most feasible of the three plans, in part because the system will use buses rather than rails. Rather than taking its cues from Portland or Phoenix, Winnipeg is looking to replicate the surprising success of bus rapid transit systems in Cleveland and Kansas City.

Bus rapid transit (BRT) is an increasingly popular method of providing rapid transit across North America. While the concept is somewhat fluid, BRT is a bus system that mimics the service provided by light rail trains, but at a lower cost.

Aside from construction cost savings, there are other advantages such as flexibility, faster acceleration and deceleration, and the ability to use existing infrastructure and maintenance facilities. Read more