WASHINGTON, DC May 29, 2012 - Today the World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a loan of US$100 million to the People’s Republic of China to provide better and safer transport services for the residents in Yining Municipality of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Located in the northwest of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Yining is China’s historical gateway to Central Asia and Europe and an important goods distribution center of the ancient “Silk Road”. Today, particularly with the recently designated Korgas Special Economic Zone, Yining faces new opportunities for development, and is envisaged to become a regional trade and logistics center and an industrial base for export processing industries.
However, Yining’s urban road network, with deteriorating roads and lack of non-motorized transport facilities, is inadequate to meet rapidly growing demand. Moreover, the city has insufficient public transport facilities such as bus depots, bus terminals, bus lines and buses, and no advanced system for bus ticketing, dispatching or operation. Traffic congestion is already emerging in the central part of the city during peak hours, due to poor management at junctions. The number of traffic accidents and fatalities is also on the rise.
The Xinjiang Yining Urban Transport Improvement Project is designed to improve transport mobility in the central urban area of Yining Municipality, and to provide transport accessibility in the selected new areas of Yining Municipality, all in a safe, clean and efficient manner.
The project will achieve its objectives through (a) improvement of selected urban roads in the existing road network, construction of new urban roads that support the urban land use development in the new city area; and acquisition of road maintenance and auxiliary equipment; (b) construction of bus infrastructure facilities, establishment of an advanced bus dispatching system and integrated circuit card system, and acquisition of clean-energy buses; (c) establishment of a traffic command centre and installation of traffic enforcement equipments, acquisition of an area traffic control system along with signal upgrade and junction channelization, and Improvement of corridors on Jiefang Road and Ahemaitijiang Road; and (d) technical assistance and training to strengthen local management skills and abilities.
“Through the implementation of this project, we are aiming to reduce average morning peak-hour travel times along some major roads, make public transport easier and more comfortable for people to use, and improve road safety for all”, said Zhi Liu, World Bank’s Lead infrastructure Specialist and task manager of the project. The project is expected to directly benefit Yining’s 470,000 residents, of whom 65 percent belongs to ethnic minority groups.
The total cost of the project is US$208.38 million, to be financed by a World Bank loan of US$100 million and counterpart funds of US$108.38 million.