Beijing is confident it can reduce traffic by 20 to 30 percent
during next year's Olympics, a senior official said yesterday.
Liu Xiaoming, deputy head of the Beijing municipal committee of
communications, said that despite having a reputation for heavy
traffic, it was the city's aim to ensure locals, visitors and
competitors enjoyed a congestion-free Games.
He said authorities will continue to promote the use of public
transport in a bid to keep the volume of traffic to a minimum.
Liu said that all competitors and their families, volunteers,
employees and spectators will be provided with free public
transport during the Games. A special bus network linking all
Olympic venues and training centers would also be introduced to
make getting to events as easy by bus as it would be by private
"Beijing people are understanding and supportive, especially
when the city is faced with an important mission like the
Olympics," Liu said when asked if he thought people would be
willing to leave their cars at home during the Games.
He said the city's officials had been encouraged by the
30-percent decrease in car usage during last November's
During the six days of meetings between Chinese and African
leaders, 80 percent of government-owned vehicles were forced to
stay off the road, while private car owners were also encouraged to
In the past three years, Beijing has spent 90 billion yuan
(US$11.65 billion) on transport projects, and that will increase by
10 percent over the next three, Liu said. Some of the money will be
used to add 86 km of new track to the existing subway network ahead
of the Olympics.
Beijing is currently leading the country's car-buying boom. Last
year, people in the capital bought 370,000 vehicles -more than half
the total number of vehicles in Hong Kong - to take its total to
(China Daily April 19, 2007)