Dan, I completely agree with your assessment that RapidRide is a "COMPLETE FUCKING JOKE." When I was in Lima last month, I appreciated the fact that their bus rapid transit line has dedicated lanes running right down the center of the highway that bisects the city. The BRT lines are physically separated from the rest of the highway traffic by concrete barriers. It's ugly, but at least it works: At rush hour, there are hundreds of professionals patiently waiting for the next bus. Traffic in both directions is often snarled to a standstill, but the buses keep speeding through at regular intervals in their dedicated lanes. (It's important to note that even a successful BRT can't be the whole solution; that's why Lima is also in the early stages of building a light rail line, too.) Here's video of the BRT in Lima. It's not at rush hour, but it gives you the idea:
So what can we do here? I think first, it's important to not allow any city official to get away with calling RapidRide bus rapid transit. It's not. It fails to meet even the most basic definition of what a bus rapid transit system should be. It's a goddamned insult, is what it is. Unless we reject the premise outright that RapidRide is bus rapid transit, politicians will just keep propping it up as an example of transit that works.