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.
It has the world’s highest BRT bus flows, with one bus every 10 seconds into the city in the morning rush hour. The system features a range of innovative and transformational features, and is the first high capacity BRT system worldwide to operate ‘direct service’ routes. Guangzhou’s BRT has no terminals and no interchanges, and uses predominantly regular 12 meter buses.
This new operational model is having a profound impact on BRT worldwide, as most cities now opt for ‘direct service’ rather than ‘trunk-feeder’ BRT operations. It is the first BRT system in China with more than one bus operator and the first with private sector operators.It is also the first BRT system worldwide with a bike sharing system planned and implemented at the same time along the corridor. Guangzhou BRT is a model for the affordable, low-carbon high-volume public transit desperately needed by fast-growing cities in the developing world.