08-22-2007 08:55

Special Report:   2008 Beijing Olympics

Authorities have announced the results of the recent four-day traffic control test that saw 1.3 million cars taken off the capital's roads. They said that the test had a positive impact on air quality and the traffic situation.

This is the traffic flow on Beijing's second ring road during the rush hour on August 18th - the second day of the city's traffic control.

And here is the traffic situation at the same time, same place, on August 17th - the first traffic control day.

Now let's take a look at the traffic situation on August 16th, and August 15th.

With 1.3 million cars off the roads - the test clearly had positive effects. The Beijing Transportation Department says the traffic flow per hour during the four-day tests dropped 30.6 percent. Traffic speed was 43 kilometers per hour -- an increase of 30.3 percent.

During the control days the majority of banned vehicles were private cars - so public transport played an indispensable role.

Liu Xiaoming, deputy director of Beijing Transportation Dept., said, "Over 73 million passengers took public transport during the four days - an increase of 15 percent. And, more importantly, the buses drove at higher speed - from 14 kilometers per hour to 20 kilometers. All those figures have reinforced our confidence to develop public transport."

Air quality reportedly improved dramatically during the test period.

Figures show pollutants caused by vehicle emissions decreased between 15 to 20 percent. This led to clearer skies and cleaner air quality.

Many Beijing residents expressed their support for the traffic control measures.

A Beijing resident said, "I hope the measures can continue for a while. I will follow the rules - even if I get a car. Many people are wondering whether the traffic control measures will be continued for a longer period."

It is still uncertain if this test can be extended in the future. But the benefits for the city and its commitment to a green Olympic Games are obvious.

Traffic is now back to normal. During the four-day traffic control test, air quality reached a level suitable for any activity. With fewer cars on the roads, pollution levels dropped by one fifth. And Beijing residents showed their interest in preparing a green and successful Olympic Games.


Editor:Liu Fang