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China: World Bank to Support Urban Rail Development in Nanchang

June 20, 2013

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2013 - Today the World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a loan of US$250 million to the People’s Republic of China to support the development of an urban rail line in Nanchang Municipality in Jiangxi Province.

Nanchang, the capital city of Jiangxi Province, has been expanding rapidly like many other Chinese cities. Urbanization has been accompanied by rapid motorization. Total auto vehicle ownership in Nanchang exceeded 470,000 by the end of 2011. To tackle the consequences of motorization such as traffic congestion and air pollution, an integrated public transport system presents a viable solution, and urban rail is its backbone.

The development of an urban rail line is a major undertaking in any city. Making sure it will achieve its goals requires careful attention to coordinating land use planning with the transport network, integrating the new line with other transport modes like buses, providing good access to the stations by pedestrians and bicycles, preparing comprehensive urban rail financing plans and ridership analysis. On all these aspects, Nanchang Municipality and the Nanchang Urban Rail Company reviewed international experience as part of project preparation and reflected relevant lessons in the project design, said Gerald Ollivier, World Bank Senior Infrastructure Specialist.

Through the Nanchang Urban Rail Project, the World Bank will help Nanchang Municipality provide an effective urban mass rapid transit system of appropriate quality along the Line 2 corridor from ZhanQianNanDaDao Station to XinJiaAn Station. The project will finance construction and equipment of Line 2, as well as technical assistance and capacity building for staff to take steps to improve ridership levels, increase land value around stations, and improve financial management and internal audit functions for the Nanchang Urban Rail Company.

The project, which is expected to begin operating before the end of 2017, will directly benefit people who will live, work or commute along the alignment catchment area that Line 2 will serve. Public transport users are likely to experience significant improvement in mobility and accessibility to their homes, jobs and urban services in terms of speed, safety and commuting quality. Businesses will also benefit from improved accessibility.

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