The city of Yichang in China’s central Hubei province has launched a bus rapid transit or BRT system. Serving a half a million passengers daily, the system serves as a model for mid-sized cities in China and beyond.
According to the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP), the BRT system – which was largely funded by an Asian Development Bank loan – was debuted on 15 July when the main city centre portion of the corridor opened with 13 routes covering 13 kilometres and 22 stations. When complete in 2016, the BRT corridor will cover a total of 23 kilometres north to south through the city centre with 37 stations.
The system is projected to slash travel times for residents by one-third, ease traffic congestion and provide increased protection for cyclists and pedestrians. The corridor also features improvements to parking management, landscaping and urban design features in station areas and a planned bike-sharing system, thus demonstrating the benefits and efficiency transit-oriented development, writes ITDP, which planned and designed the project in partnership with the Guangzhou Municipal Engineering Design and Research Institute.
“Following Curitiba in 1972, Bogota in 2000 and Guangzhou in 2010, Yichang may provide a landmark model for sustainable transport development that is sorely needed in China and throughout Asia,” Says Karl Fjellstrom, ITDP Regional Director for East and Southeast Asia.