MVA secures World Bank study in Suzhou - China to review options to control and regulate private cars, relieve traffic congestion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
20 April 2016

MVA secures World Bank study in Suzhou - China to review options to control and regulate private cars, relieve traffic congestion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions

MVA was awarded the contract “Formulation of Congestion Charging Scheme in Suzhou Old Town” by the Suzhou City Transport Bureau in January 2016, to be funded by Global Environmental Fund (GEF) of World Bank. Working with the Suzhou Planning & Design Research Institute Co., Ltd., MVA aims to formulate a congestion charging scheme to control and regulate the use of private cars in the historic core of the city. The study is expected to take about 15 months with the aim of it being completed by April 2017.

The old town of Suzhou was founded around 500 B.C. and upto the present day, the location and structure of the town have largely remained unchanged, a valuable and almost unique example of the architecture of the Song and late Ming Dynasties in China. In 1986, Suzhou city planning guidelines were approved to protect the most historic parts of Suzhou but, with the rapid development of the China economy and related rapid growth of traffic, Suzhou was becoming under increasing pressure to adopt more effective transport policy initiatives to ensure sustainability of mobility in its urban areas. The primary challenge in Suzhou is its limited road capacity and the equally limited potential to upgrade or provide new road infrastructure. Therefore, the contract awarded to MVA will study and analyze the traffic characteristics in the old town and the surrounding areas; to formulate a congestion charging scheme and to conduct a comprehensive assessment of potential benefits, including social and environmental gains and impacts. The final study report is expected to contribute towards the formulation of the much-needed next stage in Suzhou’s policy evolution and to guide decision-making by local and the provincial governments.

MVA’s Project Manager, Mr. Danny Shek, expressed his confidence in being able to complete the project to a high quality - on time: “Globally there is a growing body of evidence - and often heated debates - on the benefits and impacts of Congestion Charging. This demand-side policy proves the potential to manage the growth of traffic in major cities of China on a sustainable basis. We will also recommend complementary measures as part of a package that could improve the efficiency and attractiveness of the public transportation system, potentially enabling the demand for travel within Suzhou to be more optimally balanced amongst transportation modes. For a fee, road users will also benefit from improved journey time and reduced journey time variability. Overall, we strongly believe that this project will develop best practice in the development of transport packages that include congestion charging, that may be used as a precedence for other towns and cities in China”

Table Summary
Total Cost:
RMB$2.4 million
Commencement Date:
Jan 2016
Total Cost (MVA):
RMB$1.1 million
April 2017
Suzhou City Transport Bureau
Funding Agency:
World Bank Global Environment Fund (GEF)

MVA Project Manager – Danny Shek
MVA Project Director in Charge – Francis Sootoo

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