Beijing to add 300 kilometers of urban rail, optimize bus routes

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Beijing will enhance its public transportation network by building more subways and upgrading its bus routes.

According to an announcement made at the ongoing World Metropolitan Transport Development Forum, the Chinese capital will add 300 kilometers of urban rail lines by 2020 and cut redundant parts of its bus routes to increase efficiency.

Beijing's urban rail transit network now measures 608 kilometers, handles a daily passenger volume of over 10 million, and runs at train intervals as frequent as one per two minutes. The city has also opened several bus routes capable of transporting higher passenger volume and increased the bus-only lanes to a total length of 907 kilometers.

Research finds that due to tougher measures to control car volume and traffic flow, more people now opt for bikes or public transportation.

A leadership group working on the city's transportation network was established this year, according to Li Xianzhong, director of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport. The group identified and analyzed 17 out of 216 elements that impact transportation in the Chinese capital, deciding that the city needs to "control the demand in transportation," "improve its capacity" and "strengthen management," he said.

Li said the city will introduce more measures to increase travel efficiency. In addition to building more rail lines, the city will introduce more rapid buses at major stations and readjust certain bus routes to make up for the distance where subways are unavailable.

This year, Beijing's bus network has upgraded 73 lines and cut 272.9 kilometers of overlapping routes as well as 565 overlapping stations.

Li said that buses will be dispatched more effectively based on traffic flow in different times of the day and during the month, and bus tracking apps will be upgraded for passengers to find information and plan their trips.

As for parking problems, Li said Beijing will make better plans for parking spaces, continue strict law enforcement, and introduce more electronic toll collection devices by learning from best practices overseas and taking into account Beijing's own circumstances.

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