The number of privately owned cars in Beijing has soared up in recent years. In 1993 the city held 564,000 motor vehicles, but the figure has shot up to 2,350,000 lately.
According to the latest "Outline of Beijing Transportation Development", by the year 2010 the total number of motor vehicles for civilian use will reach around 3,800,000, with private car ownership possibly reaching 0.53 per household, that is, a car for no more than two families. While by 2020, the figure may go beyond 5,000,000, with over 0.8 car per household, basically meaning a car for each family.
Although Beijing holds a far smaller number of motor vehicles than big cities as New York and London, transportation experts explained, cars here are much more frequently used than in those western cities. This is one of the major reasons for traffic jam in the Chinese capital.
To deal with the escalating traffic congestion and build a smooth-running transportation network, the "Outline" puts forward the following four measures:
First, to continue the "bus first" policy. By 2010, 90 percent bus-takers in central districts will walk less than 8 minutes to reach stations and no more than 300 meters on average for a change.
Second, to enhance the capacity of rail transportation, which will be raised from 1,300,000 person times each day in 2003 to 4,000,000 or 5,000,000 person times in 2010, with its share in public passenger transportation system rising from today's 10 percent to 25 percent.
Third, to build 13 large-scale parking lots. A batch of interchange hubs will be constructed along central districts. Before 2010, 13 large parking lots will be built along the Fifth Ring to support rail and large-capability bus lines and facilitate car-owners for changing.
Fourth, six north-south passages will also be constructed.
By People's Daily Online