A new bus rapid transport system is easing up traffic congestion and pollution in the city of Yichang, People’s Republic of China, making daily commutes an easier, more pleasant experience for local residents.


Yichang, Hubei Province, People's Republic of China

Sitting along the Chang river, the city of Yichang is a typical provincial town.

Workers have been moving to Yichang from the countryside looking for work, putting a strain on the city's infrastructure.

Like every week day, eight-year old Qin En gets ready for school. Her daily commute has become easier since a bus rapid transport system was introduced in the city.

SOT: Zhou QinHua
Mother and IT business owner
"Since the bus was introduced, roads have become less congested and the bus travels faster. In the past, it took us 40 minutes to go to school. Now we save 10 minutes each way."

The number of vehicles on Asian roads doubles every 5 to 7 years, and road congestion costs an estimated 2-5% of GDP every year.

Air pollution levels are also high in Asian cities, with as much as 25% due to transport.

ADB is working with the PRC government to develop urban transport systems that alleviate congestion and pollution. In Yichang, ADB contributed $150 million to introduce a bus rapid transport system. 19 bus lines have been in operation since early 2016.

SOT: Chai Jun Qing
Deputy General Manager, Yichang Bus Company
"Before the new bus was introduced traffic was slow. The average speed was 8-12 km/h, compared to 20-25 km/h now."

Around 260,000 passengers use the new bus system every day, an increase of 20% in one year. Less traffic on the road means that commuters save an average of 15 minutes per journey.

SOT: Chen Junsong
Chief engineer, Yichang Municipal Urban
Construction Investment and Development Group
"Thanks to the new buses, passengers' behavior improved and CO2 emissions were reduced. The city has been modernized and its profile enhanced."

Road safety also improved, as bus drivers are trained rigorously before being hired.

SOT: Li Jianjun
Bus driver
"The buses are modern and traffic in the city has improved thanks to the new bus system."

Commuting has become a more pleasant experience for the citizens of Yichang. With the new bus, students like Qin En will never be late again for school.

SOT: Qin En
Primary school student
"I like the new bus very much. The bus is clean and never crowded."