Yichang hosts meeting of top province and city officials; highlights BRT.
On 15-16 November a major Hubei Provincial Party Committee and Provincial Government conference was held in Yichang, highlighting the BRT and the city's green development. The conference, "Promoting Urban Green Development" was similar to many conferences involving senior officials held around China exploring ways for cities to promote low carbon, green develompent, following a speech emphasizing green development by President Xi Jinping during the Fifth Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party during 26-29 October 2015. Nine of the most senior officials from the Provincial Government joined the meeting including Party Secretary Li Hongzhong, Governor Wang Guosheng, deputy Party Secretary Zhang Chang'er and others. Communist Party Secretaries, provincial capital Wuhan Mayor Wan Yong and Mayors from 16 other cities in Hubei province also joined the meeting, along with 30 other senior officials from provincial government departments. The 17 municipal delegation participants included Wuhan, Yichang, Shiyan, Xiangfan, Suizhou, Jingmen, Xiaogan, Huanggang, E'zhou, Jingzhou, Huangshi, Xianning, Enshi, Qianjiang, Xiantao, Tianmen and Shennongjia Forest district.
The officials visited the Yichang BRT and other projects. They visited Wangjiahe BRT station in the south and Guoyuan Erlu BRT station in the city center, where escalators and covered walkways have recently been installed, and drove along the BRT corridor, learning about the implementation experience of BRT. The Yichang City Investment Company provided the on-site briefing about the BRT system. The leaders highly praised the Yichang BRT system and the site visit program placed a major emphasis on the BRT. One of the provincial leaders responsible for media issues was so impressed by the BRT that he immediately requested more provincial media to send more reporters from Wuhan to see the Yichang BRT later that day.
The Sanxia Daily reported that, "Yichang BRT is the first BRT system in Hubei province, and was evaluated by the Asian Development Bank as a best practise sustainable transportation project, and Yichang also built continuous bike lanes [along the corridor]. [...] Yichang BRT planning and design came from top international experts, and used world class standards and design concepts which were people-oriented, and focused on bus priority, and green transport."
The visit by top city and provincial officials was followed up over the following week by city officials and agencies from related departments, with visiting delegations from all over Hubei province. On 24 November the Hubei Provincial Transportation Department, Wuhan Bus Company, the cities of Xiangyang, Shiyan, Jingzhou, Xiantao, Chibi, Huangshi, Enshi, Suizhou and Qianjiang, and the Provincial Public Transport Association all visited the Yichang BRT.