From public bike systems to BRT to integrated mass transit solutions – all of the 2011 Sustainable Transport Award-nominated cities are exemplars in implementing integrated transport solutions. Over the next week, we will cover profiles of the nominated cities – Guangzhou, León, Lima, Nantes, and Tehran – leading up to the presentation of the Sustainable Transport Award on January 24 at Transportation Research Board conference in Washington D.C.
Guangzhou is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. After three decades of rapid modernization, Guangzhou’s walkable environments and vibrant streetscapes are increasingly under threat from rising motorization. 2010 saw the tides turn, with major steps in cutting carbon emissions and reclaiming the city for people through the opening of a new public transportation system, bike sharing and imaginative use of public space.
The Guangzhou BRT system opened in February 2010, setting a new standard for quality and capacity in Asia. The system carries 800,000 passengers a day – triple the total of its nearest Asian BRT rival – and has a very high peak passenger flow (27,000 passengers per hour per direction). It is the first to feature direct physically connecting tunnels from the BRT to metro stations. The BRT fare system is also integrated with the metro fare system – to date the best example worldwide of integration between a BRT and a metro system.
2010 also saw bike lanes re-introduced alongside the BRT corridor – the first bike lanes that have been planned in Guangzhou in a decade. A bike-sharing scheme also opened along the corridor, four months after the BRT opening, with 5,000 bikes and 113 stations.
In September 2010 Guangzhou opened the Donghaochong greenway, transforming a polluted canal running under a highway into a beautiful winding bike and walking path, with night lighting and family-friendly exercise equipment. This is part of a wider project to build more kilometers of greenways throughout the city, including the Lizhiwan Chong canal restoration in the historical centre of the city, which opened in October 2010.