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Asian Development Bank

100 Climate Actions from Cities in Asia and the Pacific


In order to strengthen the viable alternatives of low-carbon travel, Jinhua city in PRC opened its first electric Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line, stretching 180 kilometers through the city.

The PRC’s first electric BRT first opened in 2015, providing Jinhua’s 5 million citizens with a low-carbon alternative to driving — still the number one form of transport in the city. The bus route, which has its own lane throughout the city, bypasses cars stationary in traffic and helps to reduce air pollution by taking cars off the road. Jinhua’s BRT has 167 buses operating across 6 different lines across the city, able to accommodate 50,000 passengers per day.


With the urban population growing at about 15 million people per year, almost 60% of Chinese citizens now live in cities (up from one third in 2000). With this increase comes a challenge in providing low-cost and efficient transportation. Electric BRT is one way to provide an alternative to polluting and inefficient car transport, reducing emissions from the transportation sector.

Globally, BRT has proven to be a high-capacity public transport mode that can be implemented in a short time and at a relatively low cost. The challenge lies in how BRT is perceived among citizens, as it is often considered inferior to metro systems and private vehicles.

Jinhua has opened the PRC’s first electric BRT line, comprising 167 buses operating across 6 different lines in the city, and providing a low-carbon alternative to driving (photo by Yonghe Sun).

The Challenge

In recent years, the number of private cars in Jinhua has increased annually by 15%, resulting in poor air quality and congestion. In response, the municipal government is establishing an integrated, multi-modal public transport system with rapid transit as its backbone.


Social Affordable public transport such as BRT can help improve access to public services such as healthcare and job opportunities for all parts of society.

Health Replacing private vehicles with BRT can reduce air pollution and improve air quality for citizens in Jinhua.