The Sustainable Transport Award is given each year in Washington during the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board, one of six major divisions of the U.S. National Research Council.
The annual award, offered by the New York-based Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, goes to the city that made the most progress during the past year to increase mobility, while cutting transportation greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions, and enhancing safety and access for cyclists and pedestrians.
Lines of new buses relive the congestion of Guangzhou's crowded streets. (Photo by quashlo)
Walter Hook, executive director of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, said, "Guangzhou's transformations are nothing short of amazing."
"The new BRT system is changing perceptions about bus-based and high quality mass transit," he said. "We hope all cities, not least those in the U.S., will be inspired by these examples."
Since the system began operations on February 10, 2010, it has handled some 800,000 passenger trips daily. Commuters along the 23 kilometer Phase I corridor on Zhongshan Avenue save travel time and avoid polluting the air in this urban area of more than 11 million people.
With a peak ridership of around 27,000 passengers per hour in one direction, Guangzhou's BRT has more than triple the passenger capacity of any other BRT system in Asia.
Sophie Punte, executive director, Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities Center and a member of the Institute's award committee, said, "Guangzhou has demonstrated that future emissions can be avoided through BRT systems integrated with cycling and other public transport systems at relatively low costs."
Guangzhou was one of five finalists for the 2011 Sustainable Transport Award. The other finalists are:
Pink buses caught in a Tehran traffic jam, 2007 (Photo by Francois Bouchet)
"Investments in quality rail and BRT are re-defining public transport in Tehran, and a move towards new cycle and pedestrian infrastructure is helping to transform mobility patterns as well," Wright said, noting that the government has begun the process of reducing fuel subsidies.
Past winners of the Sustainable Transport Award include:
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