Ahmedabad and Guangzhou BRT recognized as UNFCCC lighthouse activities

Last week at the COP 18 in Doha nine new so called lighthouse projects were revealed in an award ceremony attended by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. We are proud that two SLoCaT members: ITDP and CEPT Ahmedabad were among the winners. The inclusion of the Guangzhou and Ahmedabad BRTs  shows how BRT is coming of age.

The UNFCCC secretariat has developed the concept of ‘Momentum for Change’ as a way to demonstrate the multiple benefits of addressing climate change and to transform misperceptions surrounding taking action on climate change. The secretariat believes that highlighting and enhancing the positive developments in the field of climate change mitigation and adaptation, will increase innovation, motivation, hope, passion and capacity for further change. Change can be positive and positive change can create escalating virtuous cycles.

In Ahmedabad, a city with a population of more than 5.5 million, commuting options were limited. Commuters could either drive, take the municipal bus (which was over crowded) or auto rickshaws.  An affordable public transport network that would enable people to reach their destinations in the shortest possible time, in the easiest possible manner,  was required. The Ahmedabad bus rapid transport system (BRTS) is that system. Going by the name “Janmarg” or “the people’s way”, the BRTS began operation in October 2009, and has grown from 12 kilometres of route to 45 kilometres and growing. Passenger numbers have also grown, from 18,000 at the start to nearly 130,000 today.
http://unfccc.int/secretariat/momentum_for_change/items/7098.php (Ahmedabad)

The Guangzhou bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor opened in February 2010 after an extensive planning and design process by the Guangzhou Municipal Engineering Design and Research Institute in partnership with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). The Guangzhou BRT is the is the first ‘metro replacement’ level BRT system outside South America.  The system carries more than triple the single-directional passenger flows of any other BRT system in Asia, and is second only to Bogota’s BRT, Transmilenio, worldwide.
http://unfccc.int/secretariat/momentum_for_change/items/7101.php (Guangzhou)

Read also http://www.itdp.org/news/un-climate-conference-in-doha-to-feature-two-itdp-projects for ITDP’s coverage about these two awards.