WASHINGTON, DC, March 30, 2010 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a loan of $100 million to the People’s Republic of China to help improve urban transport and road safety in Wuhan.
Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province, is the eighth largest city in China (with an urban central city population of more than 5 million) and is a major economic and transportation hub in central China. In December 2007, Wuhan was identified as a pilot city by China’s State Council for construction of a ‘two-type’ Resource Saving/Environmentally Friendly oriented society.
Building upon the achievements and experience of an earlier project, the Wuhan Second Urban Transport Project seeks to continue its assistance to the Wuhan Municipality and support its transition to a ‘two-type’ society by enhancing mobility for passenger trips within and to the central area of the city in an environmentally sustainable, integrated and safe manner. The focus of project investments is on improvements in traffic safety, enhancements in bus operations, integrating public transport investments and laying a foundation for market-based congestion management approaches in the future. The project reflects a step towards supporting Chinese cities’ transition to a low-carbon growth path. It also reflects international good practice in public transport and urban traffic safety and incorporation of feedback from public participation processes into government decision-making.
“This project lays the foundations for Wuhan to face its future transport challenges in a low carbon environment,” said Shomik Raj Mendiratta, Senior Transport Specialist of the World Bank in charge of the project. “It builds on a platform of integrated public transport and traffic safety improvements to create energy efficient transport alternatives to the automobile and more actively managing the use of automobiless rather than just passively accommodating them.”
The total project investment is US$608.59 million. The first Wuhan Urban Transport Project was approved in 2004 with a World Bank loan of US$200 million.