Buses can get people where they need to go, especially in areas where rails cannot be built and where the transportation needs are greatest.

That's one reason why Mary Skelton Roberts, the new Boston representative on the MBTA board of directors, is an advocate for rapid bus transit, she said on Greater Boston.

"We cannot be economically competitive without thinking about how we are doing buses," Roberts said.

She noted that rapid bus lines are successful in many other cities, such as Mexico City, which she has visited multiple times to see the system in action.

"I'm a huge advocate of bus rapid transit. We have seen it work successfully all over the world," Roberts said.

Roberts said people are resistant to the idea of rapid bus transit because they haven't seen it here, but Boston can learn from those world-class models elsewhere.

Outside of a bus redesign, she mentioned other examples of improvements Boston could make. In London, for example, she said the train and bus schedules are coordinated to provide riders with consistent service they can rely on.

Roberts said we can do that same thing here in Boston with big investments.

"Rather than thinking about what it's going to cost, is what is it going to save us in terms of climate, in terms of moving people around?" she said. "People are going to be shopping more in the cities, they're going to be walking around, they're going to be doing the kinds of things that I hope will increase economic opportunities and bring more dollars to local businesses."

Watch: Meet the new voice of Boston on the MBTA Board of Directors