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Beijing Transportation

(People's Daily Online)

11:16, June 29, 2012

City Guide - Beijing - Transportation
Beijing is a well-known transportation hub in northern China with a well-developed transportation system. As an inland city, there are several methods of transportation from which to choose to get to Beijing: plane, train and long-distance bus. All of them offer great convenience to visitors.

Compared with other developed countries, the public transport in Beijing city started slowly. The first trolley car appeared in the city in 1924, and during the next 30 years, there were fewer than 100 trolleys altogether. It was extremely hard for people to travel around the city at that time. In 1949, only 49 were in good condition and rest of them didn't work. It was not until 1949 that the condition began to improve speedily. Now, after 58 years of development, there are over 1,300 public bus routes and 4 subway lines taking passengers to every corner of the city conveniently.

Beijing Capital Airport is the largest international airport in the country. Centered on Beijing, a complex railway net has been formed that leads to cities far and near in China. In addition, there are 12 national highways and 9 speedways radiating out in all directions.

Nineteen long-distance bus stations have their main terminals in Beijing. As a metropolis in a densely populated country, transportation in Beijing is a bit crowded, especially during rush hours (around 08:00 and 18:00). During rush hours, traffic jams are common and may cause significant delays. If possible, avoid taking buses at this time of a day as it may drain your limited vacation time. The city is large and the downtown district is encircled by 6 roads, all linked with one another. Together, they have a total length of 431 kilometers (268 miles). Many transportation options are available throughout the city: taxi, public buses and the subway (with the subway being the most time-effective). Walking is perhaps the best choice, provided the destination is not far. Rickshaws are also available around the city and are a great way to experience the ancient Peking culture while wandering around the Hutongs.

With the development of the economy, the living standard of the citizens has improved greatly. More and more people own their private cars. It is estimated that there are 3,000,000 motor vehicles in Beijing by now; they put a great pressure on the city traffic. To support the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, the government took plenty of measures to relieve the transportation pressure in Beijing City. By the end of 2007, there will be 62 roads and 4 bridges that will be built or repaired with a total length of 169.5 kilometers (105 miles); 5 more subway lines have been finished before the Olympic Games; several Olympic Special Public Bus routes will transfer athletes and referees to and from the sports arena. Since then, Beijing's mass transportation is greatly promoted.

1. When traveling around, ask for a card with the hotel's name in Chinese from the receptionist of your hotel. This will be very useful when directing taxi drivers or if you get lost.
2. Be aware of speed restrictions in Beijing:
2nd Ring Road, 3rd Ring Road, 4th Ring Road: 50 – 80 kilometers/hour (31 – 50 miles/hour)
5th Ring Road: 50 – 90 kilometers/hour (31 – 56 miles/hour)
Airport Expressway: 120 kilometers/hour (74 miles/hour)
Jing-Jin-Tang Expressway: 110 kilometers/hour (68 miles/hour)
Changan Avenue, Pingan Dajie, Liangguang Dajie, Qiansanmen Dajie: 70 kilometers/hour (43.5 miles/hour)


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