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2011 Sustainable Transport Award Winner: Guangzhou, China
Guangzhou BRT's Gangding Station. Photo by Benjamin.

Guangzhou BRT's Gangding Station. Photo by Benjamin.

Originally posted on EMBARQ.org.

The city of Guangzhou, China today won the 2011 Sustainable Transport Award for its new world-class bus rapid transit (BRT) system that integrates with bike lanes, bike share and metro stations. The annual award created by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy goes to a city that made the most progress over the year to increase mobility, while reducing transportation greenhouse and air pollution emissions and improving safety and access for cyclists and pedestrians.

Following is a statement by Dario Hidalgo, director of Research and Practice for EMBARQ (the producer of this blog) and a member of the selection committee:

“China has come a long way in delivering low-cost, highly effective bus transit systems. The Guangzhou BRT is the most important addition to this remarkable growth. The city integrated the new system with its Metro and bike-sharing programs, providing a complete package of sustainable transport worth studying and adapting in other rapidly growing cities. It also re-introduces the concept of direct services: buses come in and out of the busway, reducing the need for transfers and providing passengers with the convenience of ‘one-seat’ service.”

Hildago also recognized the city of Leon, Mexico, one of the nominees, which is home to Mexico’s first bus rapid transit system. Leon was celebrated for its unsurpassed level of integration, with 69 out of 100 public bus routes physically integrated with the city’s Optibus BRT system.

“León was Mexico’s pioneer in introducing integrated bus systems and BRT in 2003; now they have scaled their system from 35 percent to 65 percent of the transit trips, through route reorganization and continued inclusion of the local bus operators. León also has an extraordinary track record in active transport, keeping the rates of biking and walking above 39 percent of total trips, one of the highest values in Latin American cities.”

Read these profiles, written by ITDP, of the other award nominees:

  • Lima, Peru, where the long-awaited BRT is the first step towards creating an integrated citywide sustainable transport system
  • Nantes, France, where the integration of its bus light rapid transit with its tramway network presents a model of efficient coordination
  • Tehran, Iran, where the introduction of congestion charging complements the city’s expansion of its metro and BRT systems.

For more information, photos, and videos about the award and a list of past winners, visit www.st-award.org.