Urban Thinker: GZ BRT Should be Integrated with Metro
"I suggested that the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) in Guangzhou should be closely integrated with the metro. And I believe it will be one of the best transport systems in Asia and even the world." Mr. Enrique Peñalosa, the contemporary urban thinker and former mayor of Bogotá, shared his thoughts on city planning with city builders and university students in Guangzhou on July 15. [Former Mayor of Bogotá Shares New Way to Build Cities]
At the Huai Shi Tang of Sun Yat-sen University, Peñalosa expressed his experience on Bogotá and gave suggestions on Guangzhou transport. (lifeofguangzhou.com)
He rebuilt Bogotá in his three-year term
As the initiator of TransMilenio, Peñalosa transformed his city of 7 million inhabitants from a dangerous and congested mess into a leading example of sustainable urban development during his three-year term.
Peñalosa said there are no cities in the world solving traffic jams by building more facilities. With the most developed transport system, U.S is still embarrassed by traffic jams. The only solution is to enhance the public transport system.
The Bogotá government encourages people to take more buses or walk. Now the first Thursday of February is the Bogotá Car Free Day.
The payback of BRT is higher than metro
Peñalosa showed us a series of numbers. The fastest rail transport in the world can carry 65, 000 passengers per hour. If BRT stops at every 5-10 stops, it will be faster than the rail. The transmit of two metro lines usually uses 10 minutes. But bus transit at ground level takes no time to board.
To build a metro needs 10 million USD per kilometer. BRT building, however, needs one tenth of that of the metro, only 1-2 million USD. As the plan to build BRT in Guangzhou's Zhongshan Dadao, Peñalosa advised to integrate with the metro running.
A good city is human
The two-hour speech is not only a sharing about building the transport system, but also an expression on the concept of a perfect city for residence. Peñalosa insisted that a city should be human: "A good city is one that respects kids, elders, handicapped and the impoverished. Kids are much more important than cars."
The government should limit the use of private cars by measures including increasing parking and fuel fees, or the usage fee of cars. Guangzhou has spacious riverbanks and they are the public wealth, which need to be incorporated into an ideal model along with trees and plants beside the riverbanks.
(By Jessie Hwang, Alan Devey)
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