MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of $120 million to design an efficient urban transport system to capitalize on new high speed rail links planned for Ji’an, Jiangxi Province, the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

“Ji’an’s existing transport is inadequate to serve the needs of a rapidly developing city, so substantial investment is needed to expand services and improve efficiency, while linking it with the upcoming high-speed railway,” said Ki-Joon Kim, an ADB Senior Transport Specialist. “The rail link offers an opportunity to improve the Ji’an economy by better integrating the region into the dynamic economy of the southern PRC and promoting greater tourism.”

Ji’an is a major tourist center that will by 2020 be linked through a high-speed passenger line with the provincial capital of Nanchang and Guangzhou, the thriving capital of neighboring Guandong Province.

The railway station—to be constructed 4 km west of the downtown area—will require associated road, transport links, and other infrastructure in the development of the surrounding urban area, which is expected to attract 150,000 more residents by 2030.

To help link the new station area with the city, the project will develop an urban road network with nonmotorized transport facilities, and a bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor running through the central business area served by 15 stations and a fleet of 95 buses. It will also design access to the existing rail station to ensure smooth connections between modes of public transport and convenient vehicle and passenger access.

Since the Yudai River runs through the new development area and is subject to flooding during the rainy season, the project will develop recreation areas, parkland and paths on the banks to help with flood control and provide paths for non-motorized transport.

Also to be constructed are five urban trunk roads totaling 19 km in length together with streetscape improvements, pedestrian enhancements, and segregated lanes for non-motorized transport. To cope with rising traffic demand, the traffic signal system will also be upgraded.

The project—benefiting about 468,000 residents—will also ensure that the city has the capacity to deliver on the planned activities, by supporting energy-efficient BRT operations and integrated urban and transport planning.

In a special feature, the Global Environment Facility will provide grant cofinancing of about $2.55 million to reduce the carbon footprint of Ji’an’s transport system, through the introduction of 12 diesel hybrid electric buses, monitoring of their operation, and development of an integrated transport and land-use plan

The total cost of the project is $289.6 million, of which the Ji’an Municipal Government will provide $167.1 million to finance civil works, resettlement, design, surveys, and research. The project is due for completion at the end of 2019.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2013, ADB assistance totaled $21.0 billion, including cofinancing of $6.6 billion.

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