Cars’ share of Beijing transport declines: Survey

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Beijing | Published: July 8, 2016 3:49:01 PM

Improvement in public transport, restrictions to buy new cars and hike in parking fees had resulted in the decline of number of trips made by cars in the Chinese capital city.

Beijing transport authorities has found the number of trips in the city by cars as a proportion of trips by all mainstream modes of transport has fallen for the first time. (Reuters)Beijing transport authorities has found the number of trips in the city by cars as a proportion of trips by all mainstream modes of transport has fallen for the first time. (Reuters)

Improvement in public transport, restrictions to buy new cars and hike in parking fees had resulted in the decline of number of trips made by cars in the Chinese capital city which has struggled to cope-up with heavy traffic congestions, a new survey said today.

Beijing transport authorities has found the number of trips in the city by cars as a proportion of trips by all mainstream modes of transport has fallen for the first time since the commission began conducting the research in 1986, the survey findings said.

The city has over 5.5 million vehicles and more than 3.6 million privately owned cars.

In 2014, the fifth year in which the survey was done, 31.5 per cent of trips in China’s capital were made by car, down from 33.6 per cent in 2010, an official with the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport said.

The commission also considered subway, bus, bicycle and walking in the calculation.

It put the drop largely down to bus lanes, parking price hikes, Beijing’s car plate lottery system and alternate traffic restrictions by car plate numbers on weekdays, state- run Xinhua news agency reported.

The survey found the average distance covered by each car in 2014 was 15,000 km, 1.5 times the number in London and twice the number in Tokyo.

Under a five-year plan to ease traffic congestion, Beijing has promised to build 1,000 km of suburban railway lines by 2020, and to more than quadruple the total length of bike lines in the city proper to 3,200 km.

The traffic problem is such that Beijing is still considering congestion tax to further ease the pressure during peak times.

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