Recently, ITS Ireland in conjunction with Dublin City Council hosted a delegation visit from the city of Hangzhou, China. Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China, has a population of 8.7 million (2010 census). It is a major city along the Yangtze River Delta and is also situated on the Hangzhou Bay, 180 kilometres southwest of Shanghai making it a major economic power-house. It has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China for much of the last 1,000 years, due in part to its beautiful natural scenery.
Hangzhou has an efficient public transportation network, consisting of a modern fleet of regular diesel buses, trolley bus, hybrid diesel-electric bus and taxi. The first subway line came into service in late 2012. Hangzhou is known for its extensive Bus Rapid Transit network emanating from downtown to many suburban areas through dedicated bus lanes on some of the busiest streets in the city. Bicycles and electric scooters are very popular and major streets have dedicated bike lanes throughout the city. Hangzhou has an extensive free public bike rental system, the Hangzhou Public Bicycle system.
The high-level delegation consisted of the head of the Public Transport Bureau and managers from the Finance and Economics Bureau. The purpose of their visit included discussions around the applied technology and ITS interventions used in the Dublin transport system, barrier-free tolling and other transport-related projects on show in Ireland. The delegation was keen to experience the ITS systems in use with a view to improving the conflict between increasing traffic demand and environmental issues whilst maintaining economic growth back home.
ITS Ireland, Dublin City Council and OpenSky Data Systems gave presentations to the delegation during their time in Dublin.