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Beijing to invest 100b yuan for new subways

(Global Times)

09:33, November 13, 2012

Beijing will invest 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) to build 200 more kilometers of subway line in the future, making it the one of world's longest subway networks, but figures have shown that although more lines have been opened, Beijing's subway is getting more and more crowded.

Chen Gang, the deputy mayor of Beijing who is responsible for urban planning, described rail transit as the ultimate solution for traffic in an international metropolis on Saturday, the Beijing Evening News reported.

"Beijing has spent 260 billion yuan on rail transit, and we will spend 100 billion yuan more to finish a 660-kilometer long railway network," said Chen.

According to the Beijing Public Transport Bureau, Beijing will have three circle lines, four horizontal lines, five vertical lines and eight radial lines in operation by the end of 2015.

The Beijing Subway Company said its passenger flow reached seven million passengers on April 29 last year, and on April 28 this year it peaked at eight million travelers.

The mass construction of subway lines has relieved pressure on public transportation, but the current design may make carriages more crowded.

Meng Bin, professor of urban planning at Beijing Union University, told the Global Times Beijing's transit network still has room to improve.

"The design of radial lines means that passengers who are traveling long and short distances stay on the same train [instead of interchanging]. So though more lines have been opened, trains will only get more crowded," he said.

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