By Erik Crouch
Guangzhou BRT System Courtesy of http://www.transportphoto.net/photo.aspx?id=954151800&c=Guangzhou
The Guangzhou Bus Rapid Transit project, started in 2010, has won recognition as one of the UN’s 2012 Lighthouse Activities. Each year, the UN selects notable urban projects from around the globe that use combined public/private efforts to improve infrastructure and reduce pollution. The Guangzhou bus system is the largest of this year’s winners, transporting 850,000 passengers per day and reducing the city’s CO2 emissions by 84,000 tons per year.
The project, known as Guangzhou BRT, features 350 buses moving up to 29,900 people every hour. The BRT project has given Guangzhou residents faster and more efficient transport, and has already won the United States Transportation Research Committee’s 2011 Sustainable Transportation Award. Guangzhou also features a bike-share program featuring 5,000 bikes, and the BRT system is designed with stops near bike stations to maximize use of the program.
The nine winners of the UN Lighthouse Activities for 2012 also include a Ugandan solar energy project, clean water project in Kenya, and an Indian BRT system similar to that in Guangzhou. The video below features all the winners – skip to 5:00 for Guangzhou.