In recognition of the system’s excellence, on September 22nd ITDP awarded the Guangzhou BRT corridor Gold Standard status at the BRT Standard Award Ceremony in Guangzhou, China. Lloyd Wright, a member of the BRT Standard Committee, presented the award, praising the system as a best practice for China and the world. Wright highlighted the Guangzhou BRT’s exemplary features, including its multiple docking bays at stations, provision of passing lanes at stations, use of real-time information displays, and the integration with bike sharing and greenways.
Mr. Yu Haoran, the director of Guangzhou’s Traffic Station Construction and Administration Center, accepted the award on behalf of the city. In his speech, Haoran said that before the system’s implementation, there were many doubts and criticisms about the BRT. But after three years of successful operation, with 850,000 daily passengers, 85.000 tons of CO2 saved annually, over 2,000 Chinese and foreign delegates visiting, and several Chinese and international prizes, the BRT has become a major success.
In addition, the system has greatly decreased travel times and costs for passengers, especially in the eastern part of the city, and become a point of pride for city officials. Other attendees of the ceremony included the directors of the Guangzhou BRT Operation and Management Company and Guangzhou’s Bike Sharing Operation and Management Company.
The Guangzhou BRT is the first and only BRT system in Asia to be awarded Gold, according to the BRT Standard criteria. The Guangzhou BRT opened in February 2010 based on planning and design carried out by ITDP and the Guangzhou Municipal Engineering Design Research Institute. The BRT, with 22.5 kilometers and 26 stations, is linked with other modes of transportation, including metro, bike sharing, bike lanes along the corridor, greenways and bike parking. As a model for high quality BRT, Guangzhou has hosted officials from cities throughout China and the world seeking to learn as they plan their own BRT systems.
Guangzhou’s Mayor recently showed interest in expanding the BRT system, sparking a flurry of activity planning among design and planning institutes in Guangzhou. ITDP hopes to continue to be involved with the process, building on the system’s success and assuring future projects maintain the same level of quality. With these goals in place, Guangzhou will continue to be a global leader in sustainable transportation.