New BRT system, public spaces, parking reform, cycling and pedestrian improvements win Yichang the award. Moscow, Russia and Rosario, Argentina receive honorable mention.

STA 2016 Winner FeaturedYichang, a mid-sized Chinese city located along the Yangtze River, the site of the Three Gorges Dam, is looking to the future with a focus on cycling, pedestrian space, and high-quality mass transport, putting it well on its way to becoming a leader in the region on sustainable transport and development.

In 2015, Yichang launched China’s third high quality BRT to open in the last five years, after Guangzhou in 2010 and Lanzhou in 2013. Stretching 20 kilometers along one of the city’s busiest roads, the system serves over 240,000 riders a day on 362 buses, 200 of which are new BRT buses with doors on both sides. The system features a dedicated right of way, off board fare collection, preferential treatment at intersections, and level boarding. Demonstrating strong climate and congestion benefits, preliminary results show that 20 percent of BRT riders previously drove a car or took a taxi. The BRT lanes forms the core of a sustainable urban corridor, anchoring benefits throughout the city.

Yichang also implemented groundbreaking parking reform, with half of the parking spaces along the BRT corridor eliminated and the remainder subject to improved management. The city also improved conditions for bicycles and pedestrians, with 30 kilometers of bike lanes (part of a planned 220 kilometer network), and 700 trees planted along with 29 new safe pedestrian crossings and a bike share system set to open in the next month.

Moscow received honorable mention for their expansion of cycle lanes, addition of a bike share program, improved parking management, and improved bus services. Rosario made significant investments in cycling infrastructure, extended dedicated bus lanes, and improved the accessibility and integration of transit across the city.
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