WASHINGTON, March 29, 2013 –Today the World Bank approved a grant of US$18.18 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to the People’s Republic of China to support the government’s efforts to reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emission (GHG) in large cities.
Private car ownership and usage are rapidly increasing in China. As a result, many large Chinese cities experience serious air pollution and GHG emissions—which are made worse by increasing traffic congestion.
The GEF Large City Congestion and Carbon Reduction Project aims to help China address these issues by establishing a policy framework to reduce traffic congestion and GHG emissions in large cities primarily through public transport development and travel demand management, and by implementing such policy framework in three pilot cities to demonstrate its local and global benefits.
“The project seeks to reduce GHG emissions through improved bus speeds and modal shifts to public and non-motorized transport in the three pilot cities,” said Liu Zhi, World Bank Lead Infrastructure Specialist. “And we expect to see further benefits in other Chinese cities through replication of the successful pilot actions that would be supported by central policy, strategy and technical guidelines developed under the project”, he added.
At the national level, the project will provide technical advisory services to the Ministry of Transport for the development of policy, strategy and technical guidelines in relation to sustainable urban transport and help strengthen institutional capacity including establishment of a national public transport database.
At the city level, the project will support pilot demonstration of innovative approaches to improve public transport, specifically:
- In Suzhou, the project will focus on construction of an information service system for transit riders, assessment of express bus lines, development of concept design of bus lanes and preparation of environmental management plans, purchase of clean-energy buses, and associated traffic demand management studies;
- In Chengdu, the project will focus on piloting of junction channelization in selected areas, upgrading of the traffic control system, improvement of access to bus stops, use of information technologies for traffic demand management, and pilot implementation of a parking policy; and
- In Harbin, the project will focus on construction of a bus priority lane, upgrading of the existing public transport dispatch center, taxi management and data center, traffic demand management and traffic impact studies, and pilot implementation of parking management systems in selected areas.
The project is expected to benefit transport users, residents and visitors of the three pilot cities through improved public transport services, reduced traffic congestion, and better air quality.
Established in 1991, the GEF is today the largest funder of projects to improve the global environment. It provides grants to developing countries and countries in transition for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.