China has approved over 800 billion yuan ($117 billion) investment for the construction of urban rail transit lines, providing noticeable impetus for domestic economic growth.
Twenty-eight cities have submitted proposals on 91 planned rail transit lines covering 2,600 kilometers, with at least 1 trillion yuan ($147 billion) needed. 19 cities had their construction proposals approved by the state. Seventy rail transit lines, with a total length of 2,100 kilometers will be completed by 2015, according to Gao Yucai, director of a professional committee with the China Communications and Transportation Association (CCTA).
Currently, 46 lines, with a total length of 1,212 kilometers are under construction in 14 cities around China. Twenty-nine lines are finished, amounting to nearly 780 kilometers, and have already been put into use in 10 cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
The rapid development of urban rail transit plays an important role not only in reducing urban traffic pressure and air pollution in urban areas but also in boosting economic growth. A subway costs about 600 million yuan ($88.2 million) per kilometer, consuming building materials like cement, reinforcing bars and stone in large quantities. It generates an even larger pull on China's equipment manufacturing sector.
China will have 55 urban rail transit lines, amounting to 1,500 kilometers by 2010. If each train costs 6 million yuan ($882.3 thousand) on average, the total investment in vehicles only will reach 36 billion yuan ($5.29 billion), according to officials in charge of the Passenger Coach Department of China CNR Corporation Limited.
By People's Daily Online