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Capital's public transport system to get extra funding
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08:42, January 13, 2009

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Beijing's mayor said yesterday that the biggest infrastructure spending this year will be on public transport, primarily the subway network.

The municipal government will expand its infrastructure investment by 15 percent to 30.5 billion yuan ($4.5 billion) this year, with the priority on the citywide railway network, Mayor Guo Jinlong said in his report to Beijing's annual legislative meeting that opened yesterday.

Beijing has launched the largest expansion of railway network in modern China this year, with a budget taking up one third of the city's annual spending on infrastructure.

The total investment on railways is expected to exceed 50 billion yuan this year, which is partly financed by other investors, Guo said.

With the spending, Beijing will open a new subway line in the west part of the city later this year.

It will also begin construction of four new light rail lines in suburban Beijing, while continuing to build four other subway lines.

Senior transportation officials told China Daily earlier that Beijing's expansion of public transport will pick up speed after the Olympics.

Beijing said its goal is to establish a rail service for all residents, who will never be more than 1 km from a station on the city's subway network of 19 lines.

By 2015, a quarter of all Beijing's commuters, 8.8 million, will use the metro, the government has estimated.

Guo said the city also plans to implement flexible parking fees in downtown areas to ease congestion and leave more space for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cheng Jing, director of the city's transportation management authority, said on Sunday that it is considering raising parking fees in downtown areas to an average of 10 yuan per hour, two to three times the current price.

Higher parking fees will help the city promote environmentally friendly transport.

From yesterday, car owners whose heavy-polluting vehicles were ordered off the roads by the environmental bureau, received government funding of up to 25,000 yuan to buy new vehicles.

Beijing's transport authority is also considering the long-term effects of the controversial no-car day rule, which bans drivers from driving one day a week.

The Economic Observer reported earlier that the national automobile association said in its annual report that it is unwise to ease traffic congestion by traffic restrictions in the long run.

Source: Beijing's mayor said yesterday that the biggest infrastructure spending this year will be on public transport, primarily the subway network.

The municipal government will expand its infrastructure investment by 15 percent to 30.5 billion yuan ($4.5 billion) this year, with the priority on the citywide railway network, Mayor Guo Jinlong said in his report to Beijing's annual legislative meeting that opened yesterday.

Beijing has launched the largest expansion of railway network in modern China this year, with a budget taking up one third of the city's annual spending on infrastructure.

The total investment on railways is expected to exceed 50 billion yuan this year, which is partly financed by other investors, Guo said.

With the spending, Beijing will open a new subway line in the west part of the city later this year.

It will also begin construction of four new light rail lines in suburban Beijing, while continuing to build four other subway lines.

Senior transportation officials told China Daily earlier that Beijing's expansion of public transport will pick up speed after the Olympics.

Beijing said its goal is to establish a rail service for all residents, who will never be more than 1 km from a station on the city's subway network of 19 lines.

By 2015, a quarter of all Beijing's commuters, 8.8 million, will use the metro, the government has estimated.

Guo said the city also plans to implement flexible parking fees in downtown areas to ease congestion and leave more space for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cheng Jing, director of the city's transportation management authority, said on Sunday that it is considering raising parking fees in downtown areas to an average of 10 yuan per hour, two to three times the current price.

Higher parking fees will help the city promote environmentally friendly transport.

From yesterday, car owners whose heavy-polluting vehicles were ordered off the roads by the environmental bureau, received government funding of up to 25,000 yuan to buy new vehicles.

Beijing's transport authority is also considering the long-term effects of the controversial no-car day rule, which bans drivers from driving one day a week.

The Economic Observer reported earlier that the national automobile association said in its annual report that it is unwise to ease traffic congestion by traffic restrictions in the long run.

Source: China Daily



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