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September 25, 2013

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BRT to connect Fengxian with Pudong

The city government has approved Shanghai’s first BRT route, or Bus Rapid Transit.

BRT is a faster and more efficient bus service which has its own dedicated lanes, thus avoiding delays.

For the time being, it will link a residential area in Fengxian District to Oriental Sports Center in the Pudong New Area that is expected to benefit 220,000 residents of Nanqiao New Town in Fengxian.

The Shanghai Transport and Port Administration said yesterday preliminary work had already started on the route.

According to a blueprint unveiled earlier, the length of the BRT line will be 22 kilometers with 14 stations. It is expected to cut the trip between Nanqiao New Town and Oriental Sports Center by half an hour to about 45 minutes.

At times described as a “surface subway,” BRT aims to combine the capacity and speed of a light rail or Metro with the flexibility, cost and simplicity of a bus. It is already in service in other cities such as Beijing and Xiamen.

Shanghai lawmaker Jiang Weimin suggested that the BRT should be used along the Hongmei Road S. Tunnel, which is under construction and is the city’s longest.

Jiang said the tunnel and the area around Shanghai South Railway Station should spare space for the use of BRT lanes.

Traffic authorities said the suggestion would be taken into account given the limited space around Shanghai South Railway Station. But they said it would also be difficult to immediately add a BRT lane for the Hongmei Road S. Tunnel, which is expected to open to traffic in 2014.

The authorities are also seeking alternative ways to enhance public transport for residents of Fengxian District.

Metro Line 5 will start work on its southern extension in 2015 which will connect the coastal new town of Fengxian District to downtown.

The current 17.2-kilometer Line 5 has 11 stations and runs along Minhang District, linking the Xinzhuang area with the district development zone.



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