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Asian Development Bank

100 Climate Actions from Cities in Asia and the Pacific

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Lao PDR’s capital, Vientiane, is tackling traffic congestion in its city center with the creation of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system and other transportation solutions to shift transport demand away from private vehicles.

Vientiane is Lao PDR’s capital and its fastest growing city. The recent growth has increased the number of private vehicles resulting in traffic congestion, rising incidence of road accidents, and deteriorating air quality. The number of private vehicles has risen 17% on average annually from 2000-2009, and has increased at a growth rate of more than 10% since then.

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To tackle this, by 2022, the city plans to construct 12.9 km of new dedicated bus lanes and 28 enclosed stations, utilizing 45 modern BRT buses. The BRT buses will be battery-electric buses and will serve the existing 84 km network that covers the city. Furthermore, the project will introduce traffic control measures, an official on-street paid parking system, and improved pedestrian facilities with universal accessibility measures also included.

ADB provided financing of approximately $35 million and technical assistance for the project.

The new BRT system will help shift transport demand away from private vehicles (photo by ITDP-China).

The Challenge

Vientiane has experienced record growth resulting in increased traffic congestion and the need to tackle its unsustainable transportation system through various transportation solutions including the creation of a BRT system.

Co-Benefits

Health The city believes the BRT can contribute to improved health conditions for the 820,000 residents through cleaner air quality and safer roads.

Social The city believes the new transport solutions will improve conditions for vulnerable residents through safer transport options providing better job prospects.