Beijing's communications authority has planned to introduce China-made maglev trains into its expanding public transport system to ease urban traffic congestions.
Li Xiaosong, spokesman of the Beijing Municipal Committee of Communications, confirmed the plan Thursday and said the committee has aimed to update the transport system in order to cut commuting time within the city's fifth ring road into one hour by 2015.
According to Friday's Global Times, the first planned maglev route, the Daitai line (S1), will start in Beijing's IT center in Haidian District passing through Shijingshan District, and end in Mentougou District in western Beijing.
Though with a speed of up to 500-plus kmh, the levitating trains, which will be designed and made by China, will travel at a speed of 100-80 kmh in Beijing for passenger safety, said transport authorities.
"Low and medium-speed maglev trains are more suitable for urban areas of cities like Beijing," a spokesman for the Beijing Enterprises Holding Maglev Technology Development Corporation, which is responsible for the research and development of the system.
It said compared with subway and light railways, maglevs boast greener credentials with lower noise, less radiation and greater energy efficiency.
The eastern metropolitan of Shanghai now operates the world's only commercial maglev system on a 30-km stretch between downtown business district and Pudong airport. The German-made maglev went into operation on Dec. 31, 2002.