Yangon, Myanmar

Project Name: Yangon Urban Transport Project – Pyay Road Public Transport Priority Feasibility Study

December 2017 to December 2018
Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA), working with the Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Project Features
Yangon’s urban transport situation is dire, with severe congestion in major corridors limiting the economic development potential of the city. Motorcycles are banned in Yangon, so people rely primarily on buses and taxis, though the use of private cars is rapidly increasing. Improving the bus system is an urgent priority and the newly formed regional transportation authority, YRTA, forced industry consolidation and assisted operators to procure thousands of new Chinese made buses. Unfortunately despite the new buses, bus stop improvements through a contract with JC Decaux, smart cards, depot improvements, control centres and other measures, the new buses were stuck in congestion with operating speeds often as low as 10km/hr in the main corridors. The urgent need for bus priority measures was recognized by CDIA, the ADB, and the local government agencies, though there was no BRT plan other than some brief concepts developed through Scania and JICA funding which were never pursued. In addition to the bus system issues, the historical downtown area of Yangon has severe parking and pedestrian facility problems, with all three issues (buses, parking, NMT) intersecting in the CBD. In this context Far East Mobility won an international bid to prepare public transport, NMT facility and parking improvement feasibility studies.
Far East Mobility Role

Far East Mobility was the sole member of the winning bid but included several local experts in the team, and a Guangzhou-based utilities firm and Yangon-based architectural firm was also added to the work during the latter stages. Far East Mobility was overall in charge of and responsible for all project components and outputs and our experts carried out around 50 visits to Yangon during the project. The project involved three Feasibility Studies: Bus priority/BRT, parking, and NMT, of which the first component received the most focus.

1. Bus Priority / BRT Feasibility Study

The bus priority / BRT feasibility study included all key components of BRT planning and design.

  • Surveys and data collection
  • Corridor definition
  • Demand analysis and operational planning
  • Roadways and intersections
  • Modelling and economic analysis
  • Architecture and utilities (with Design Valley Architects)
  • Capacity-building and training.
2. NMT Feasibility Study

The Non-Motorized Transport improvements focused on pedestrians, since bicycles are banned in the downtown area. A large range of pedestrian facility improvements were planned, designed and discussed with stakeholders – especially the Yangon City Development Committee. NMT improvement facilities were proposed in three areas: (i) the downtown CBD area; (ii) along the BRT corridors; (iii) on a dozen of the highest demand access roads to the BRT corridors. The proposed measures including walkway pavement, intersection crossings, mid-block crossings, greenery, speed tables, lighting, weather protection, raised driveways and intersections, and others were included as a separate component of the cost estimates but were planned and intended to be implemented as part of the BRT corridor planning.

3. Parking Improvement Feasibility Study

Parking problems are so acute in the downtown area that without addressing them, the public transport and pedestrian facility improvements would be unlikely to be able to be implemented, since parking takes up so much of the right-of-way. For this reason, it was important that parking be included within the bus priority/BRT project scope. Far East Mobility carried out a parking study to form the basis of the FS proposals on issues like the parking zone (three CBD zones were proposed, in coordination with YCDC), parking charge, potential parking revenues, and a range of policy and technology options. YCDC was strongly interested in the parking recommendations and several meetings and presentations were held with them on this topic. While the focus was on on-street, off-street parking & zoning recommendations were also provided.

Updated: 29/12/2020

Project Name: Yangon Urban Transport Rapid Assessment

December 2016 to February 2017
Asian Development Bank
Project Features
Since motorbikes are banned throughout the city and bikes are banned in the central area, buses account for well over half of all non-walking trips in Yangon. Congestion is rapidly worsening and it is widely acknowledged that bus system improvements are urgently needed. However, while all parties agree on ‘bus priority’ as a concept, there have not been any substantial studies to elaborate exactly what ‘bus priority’ means in practice and how it can be implemented. The ADB is developing a possible urban transport project in Yangon, with bus priority to be an essential feature. This short input was intended to advance this process by providing a rapid assessment, consultation with key agencies, and a basis for follow-up. The assessment focused primarily on BRT/bus priority, parking (where the downtown problems are acute), pedestrian facilities and traffic management.
Far East Mobility Role
Far East Mobility was contracted to carry out a rapid assessment of key urban transport issues, and the potential for BRT application along with NMT, parking and other improvements in Yangon together with related ADB project officers. Site visits, meetings, presentations and report & recommendations were carried out over two visits. The meetings included presentations related to capacity building in BRT planning and design for newly established Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA, a regional body set up initially with a focus on bus system reform), and preliminary concepts for possible BRT implementation and operation in Yangon.
Updated: 29/12/2020
CDIA Busway, Parking and Pedestrian Facility Plans for Yangon (2019.2)

TOD Opportunities for Yangon's Proposed Pyay/Insein BRT (2019.9)

Far East Mobility completed a Cities Development Initiative for Asia Feasibility Study for bus priority, parking and non-motorized transport improvements in Yangon during 2018.
Busway station renderings, including Hledan (Pyay Rd/Insein Rd), and Maha Myaing (Pyay Road).