Guangzhou, China's bus rapid transit system re-introduces the concept of direct services. Photo courtesy (arkiben) via Flickr.
The city of Guangzhou, China, won the 2011 Sustainable Transport Award for its new world-class bus rapid transit (BRT) system that integrates with bike lanes, bike share and metro stations.
The annual award created by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy goes to a city that made the most progress over the year to increase mobility, while reducing transportation greenhouse and air pollution emissions and improving safety and access for cyclists and pedestrians.
“China has come a long way in delivering low-cost, highly effective bus transit systems. The Guangzhou BRT is the most important addition to this remarkable growth, said Dario Hidalgo, EMBARQ’s director of research and practice. "The city integrated the new system with its Metro and bike-sharing programs, providing a complete package of sustainable transport worth studying and adapting in other rapidly growing cities. It also re-introduces the concept of direct services: buses come in and out of the busway, reducing the need for transfers and providing passengers with the convenience of ‘one-seat’ service.”
Hildago also recognized the city of Leon, Mexico, one of the nominees, which is home to Mexico’s first BRT system. Leon was celebrated for its unsurpassed level of integration, with 69 out of 100 public bus routes physically integrated with the city’s Optibus BRT system.
The other nominees of this year’s Sustainable Transport Award included:
- Lima, Peru, where the long-awaited BRT is the first step towards creating an integrated citywide sustainable transport system.
- Nantes, France, where the integration of its bus light rapid transit with its tramway network presents a model of efficient coordination.
- Tehran, Iran, where the introduction of congestion charging complements the city’s expansion of its metro and BRT systems.