How Speedy Buses Totally Changed China's Third Largest City How Speedy Buses Totally Changed China's Third Largest City
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How Speedy Buses Totally Changed China's Third Largest City

by Dani Simons

April 30, 2011

Today the Guangzhou BRT services over 800,000 riders daily and was built for about one-tenth the cost of the metro. With an average of one bus passing every 10 seconds in peak hours, it carries more passengers in a single direction than just about every metro lines in all of China, and more than triple any other BRT system in Asia. The system has resulted in 30 percent higher bus speeds, and reduced congestion along the corridor at the same time as vehicle volumes have increased, primarily due to the solving of severe problems of congestion at bus stops, and intersection signal improvements.

The BRT has helped eliminate more than 50,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the first year alone, thanks mostly to less congestion, improved traffic flow, and residents choosing the BRT over cars or taxis.

The system seriously impressed the visitors from the TRB who had learned of the project in January when Guangzhou won theĀ 2011 Sustainable Transport Award. Some of the visitors expressed frustration at the short shrift given to buses in the United States, where they're often seen as less efficient and less desirable than metro or light rail.

Projects like the Guangzhou BRT show that another way is possible for bus-based transportation, and that BRT can be an affordable, efficient and high-quality solution for cities at home and abroad.

For data, maps and photos off the Guangzhou BRT: see the ChinaBRT.org site.

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How Speedy Buses Totally Changed China's Third Largest City