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2008 & Beyond: Beijing´s solutions to traffic jams


Source: | 08-01-2008 14:32

Special Report:   2008 Beijing Olympic Games

Beijing has been heavily investing in public transportation before the Olympics as part of its commitment to a Green Games. The city is now using an even-odd plan to keep half of the vehicles off the streets, and encourage residents to use public transport.

Today in our special series 2008 and Beyond, Han Bin takes you for a ride on public transport and explores the serious problems the capital will face after the torch has passed.

And in tomorrow's special, Wang Mangmang reports on media openness in China. She speaks to foreign journalists about their experiences.

The alternate day traffic plan has forced some private car drivers to use public transport.
The alternate day traffic plan has forced some private car 
drivers to use public transport.

Welcome to Beijing!

"Here we are at the Beijing International Terminal 3. If you're going downtown, you can take a bus, a taxi, or the newly opened Airport Express."

15 minutes later, you are at the city center.

And here you'll meet its people, perhaps a bit more closely than you'd like.

For most residents and visitors, public transport is the best way to get around. But simply getting to work could mean a daily struggle.

The government hopes limits on car use can solve the problem during the Games.

"This is the rush hour squeeze on Beijing's subway, the odd-even plan is getting four million more riders on public transport as a whole."

The alternate day traffic plan has forced some private car drivers to use public transport.

Geng Li is one of them.

Geng Li said "If the public transport is clean, not very crowded and convenient, I'd like to continue to take it."

But Geng Li has to change trains and buses several times. Though the government has brought down public transport fares, for people who own cars, it's not about money.

Zhou Mingjie, one driver said "The odd-even plan is making my life very inconvenient. I don't like taking the subway to work as there are always too many people on the line."