The Guangzhou BRT opened in 2010 after ITDP China, with the Guangzhou Municipal Engineering Design and Research Institute (GMEDRI), led the planning, design and implementation from the conceptual design in 2005 through detailed engineering design and construction. The Guangzhou BRT has an average daily ridership of more than 850,000 passengers and carries 28,000 passengers per hour in 350 buses in a single direction past the peak demand point, higher than most metro and all light rail lines worldwide, and second only to Bogota’s Transmilenio BRT system. The Guangzhou BRT won the Sustainable Transport Award in 2011, a United Nations Lighthouse Project award in 2012, was displayed by the Smithsonian in the lobby of the United Nations building (Oct-Nov 2011), and received numerous other awards. It is the only Gold Standard BRT in Asia, and the first of around five ‘gold standard BRT and urban development corridors’ needed to revive the reputation of BRT in China.
The Guangzhou BRT has transformed the Zhongshan Avenue, with not just a fully separated BRT corridor, but also the addition of a new greenway and high quality plazas and public spaces installed as part of the project. The system averages 850,000 passengers per day, and together with Transmilenio is the only BRT system worldwide to carry more than 25,000 passengers per hour in a single direction, which is higher than most metro and all light rail lines worldwide. The Guangzhou BRT has an average 350 buses per hour in a single direction past the peak demand point; more than triple the next highest-capacity system in Asia and the second-highest-capacity BRT in the world (behind Bogotá’s TransMilenio). It is truly a mass transit system.
- BRT corridor selection. ITDP convinced the City to implement the system along the heavily congested Zhongshan Avenue, where benefits are maximized.
- Road and intersection design for the entire BRT corridor, including all difficult points.
- BRT station dimensions, number of substops, location relative to intersections, configuration, architecture and operation.
- BRT operational mode. The Guangzhou BRT’s revolutionary combination of very high capacity with direct-service operations was developed by ITDP. The system does not have any transfer stations or terminals. This operational mode is having a worldwide impact, as new BRT systems now increasingly favor direct-service over trunk-feeder operations.
- BRT institutions and regulation. ITDP provided critical, detailed input to the BRT institutional and regulatory arrangements and set-up, which resulted in key decisions being made correctly, and the Guangzhou BRT now provides a model of best practice for other cities to follow. Key issues included the establishment of a special BRT regulatory agency, the decision to have multiple competing BRT operators in the corridor, and the decision to pay operators per bus-km rather than per passenger, both inside and outside the BRT corridor.
- BRT demand modelling and operational design. ITDP built demand models used in the BRT system design, and provided key inputs to the operational design.
- Impact analysis. ITDP collected baseline data that is the basis for an ongoing detailed BRT impact analysis.
- Other areas. ITDP provided detailed input in many other areas concentrating along the BRT corridor including traffic impact analysis, surveys and data collection, budget calculations, station access and pedestrian facilities, bike lane design, parking improvements, public space design, greenways, bike sharing, and communications and outreach. Subsequently during the BRT operation ITDP has developed detailed recommendations for improving the BRT system as well as bike lane and greenway connectivity.
Guangzhou Bike Sharing Program
ITDP China provided the main technical input to the Guangzhou Communication Commission’s bike sharing system planning and implementation. The bike sharing system opened in June 2010, with stations located along the BRT corridor, nearby commercial areas and residential areas, to solve ‘the last mile’ issue of BRT station access. It has 113 stations with 5,000 bikes and around 20,000 people use the system every day. Of those, more than two-thirds were previously motorized trips.
ITDP-China also provides direct technical support to several Chinese cities on bike sharing policy, planning, implementation and operation, including Dongguan, Shenzhen, Jiangmen, Lanzhou, and Yichang, Tianjin and Jakarta. Site visits, publications, presentations, a website, and other resources have influenced many other cities in China & worldwide. For more information please visit https://www.publicbike.net/
Sustainable Urban Development
As part of the development of the BRT system, ITDP worked with the city to plan, design and implement a multi-modal transit corridor which includes a new greenway, high-quality public spaces on both sides of the corridor, bicycle parking and bike sharing at stations, attractive station architecture, and world class performance. This package of features has resulted in land values increasing 30% higher along the BRT corridor compared to the Tianhe District average. Since 2011 ITDP has also co-hosted the annual Real Estate Summit with the Real Estate Guide and the China Mayors’ Forum.
For more information or to arrange a site visit, visit www.sitevisits.net.
Parking & TDM
Based on the suggestion from ITDP, the on-street parking reform has been implemented in Guangzhou, including parking zoning and price discrimination. As a result, the central area of Guangzhou has one of the highest parking fees in China. After the Parking Guidebook for Chinese Cities was published in 2010, many parking areas along the Guangzhou BRT corridor were transformed into public spaces. In 2012, ITDP China’s recommendations on limiting the number of license plates in Guangzhou was adopted and implemented. ITDP China continues to provide technical support for and research on the congestion fee.