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Car plate applicants exceed 1m in Beijing (2)

By Wang Xiaodong (China Daily)

08:46, August 27, 2012

"The license plate lottery is an administrative effort and cannot deal with the root cause of traffic congestion," said a netizen by the name of 5786mm in Beijing. "A better solution is to increase parking fees and levy traffic fees."

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport has said the lottery has contributed to easing traffic gridlock in the city.

However, in a poll the commission conducted last year, 75.7 percent of respondents said they did not think traffic was easing and only 8.9 percent approved of the lottery policy.

"I know that some people who don't need a car also entered the lottery and got a registration," Jia said. "Many people like me, who really need a car, have failed and get frustrated."

"The problem is that the real needs aren't being met, while people with little intention of buying cars are feeling compelled to enroll in the lottery," Yang Hongshan, deputy dean of the department of urban planning at Renmin University of China, previously told China Daily.

Guangzhou, a city in South China, initiated public auctions and a lottery in July to limit the number of new car license plates to 10,000 each month.

Shanghai, the country's financial hub, uses an auction to limit the number of license plates and the price of a plate keeps hitting new highs. They currently go for more than 60,000 yuan ($9,460).

Beijing has enacted a series of measures to fight heavy traffic in recent years. New measures this year include installing a smart parking-fee collection system to monitor and regulate parking along roads, and increasing the number of public bikes to encourage the use of public transport.

Car owners in Beijing may have to pay traffic fees, under a five-year plan released by the commission earlier this month.

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