The rapid growth of bus rapid transit
(BRT) in China offers an opportunity to improve the overall quality of
sustainable transport in China in the future. The debate over urban street
rights still exists, but cities can still maximize the benefits of BRT by
prioritizing the integration of BRT with other sustainable development models.
Like everything else happening in China, BRT has experienced rapid growth over
the past few years. Although China’s BRT system does not receive the same
attention as the MTR system worldwide, the development of the BRT system is
still impressive (He, 2013).
The first BRT system in China was
introduced to Kunming in 1999 and the BRT was launched in Beijing in 2004,
drawing the nation’s attention to BRT as a new transportation solution.
However, Guangzhou BRT is expected to become China’s first high-capacity BRT
system, second in the world (Fjellstrom, 2009). “For operations at the end
of 2009, passenger traffic is expected to exceed that of other BRT systems in
Asia; to replenish and replenish existing metro systems to provide city-wide
bus coverage; to save a total of 36 million passengers annually; to reduce the
demand for bus fleets and Energy Consumption “(Cervero & Day, 2008).
In 2010, the launch of Guangzhou BRT broke through the existing medium and low
speed BRT mode and transported most of the country’s subway lines (Fjellstrom,
2009). The city has adopted a direct service model that allows for the use of
dedicated BRT lanes through corridor-defined BRT routes which are not just
trunk routes. “Nowadays there are 17 bus
rapid transit systems in China, serving 2.3 million people every day and most
of these systems were built since 2008 in all the first-tier cities, most of
the second-tier cities and many small cities” (He, 2013).