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Cities will be key to a low carbon, resilient global economy able to address and adapt to climate change. Many are emerging as leaders cutting emissions and greening infrastructure. Photo ©Pline

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An award-winning bus rapid transit system in China provides a model for affordable, low-carbon, and high-volume public transit in the fast-growing cities of the developing world.

In addition to helping to lower greenhouse gas emissions, bus rapid transit systems are especially useful and effective because they are more than 10 times cheaper than subway systems to build and operate, and can be built much faster.

The Guangzhou bus rapid transit system, which is recognized by the UN Climate Change Secretariat’s Momentum for Change initiative, provides a subway-like level of service and speed, using buses rather than fixed rail trains. More than 1 million people use Guangzhou’s bus system every day, with one bus arriving at the station every 10 seconds. 

The system is exceptional in that it carries more than three times the amount of passengers than any other similar system in Asia. It is also the second busiest in the world after Bogotá’s Transmilenio bus system.

To learn how Guangzhou is breaking records and revolutionizing perceptions of bus rapid transit in China and Asia, we spoke to Duan Xiaomei, Chief Engineer from the Guangzhou Municipal Engineering, Design and Research Institute. Listen to the interview below, and subscribe to the Momentum for Change podcast. To stay connected with Momentum for Change, subscribe to the e-newsletter.

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