Amid locals' growing eagerness to have a car of their own, the city government yesterday revealed its first-ever urban transportation white paper which highlights the development of public transport as a major solution for Shanghai's future traffic needs.
Expected to function as a guideline for government decision-makers, the white paper, through outlined main tasks, strategies and countermeasures, provides local residents with a transparent overall picture of the city's urban transport development in the coming 20 years.
With the goal being a smooth, safe, comfortable and environment-friendly urban transportation network, the city will see public transport carry nearly 26 per cent of the local traffic volume by 2005, compared with 21 per cent in 2000, according to the white paper.
This despite the fact that the total number of vehicles is expected to grow from 1.04 million to 1.5 million by that time, with the major part of the growth expected to come from private family cars, the white paper said.
Meanwhile, Shanghai will stick to its current policy of controlling the increase of private cars through monthly auctions of a limited amount of licence plates available to local potential car buyers, city officials said.
"The point for us now is a harmonized urban-transport network instead of merely private cars," said Li Liangyuan, director of the city's Development Planning Commission.
Li was speaking at a briefing yesterday attended by senior officials of major local government departments involved with the white paper, the first one issued in China in the name of a regional government regarding urban transport development.
Expected to be published on July 1, the paper signals the Shanghai government's commitment to create an optimized, effective, humane and comfortable urban transport system, bolstered by modern information technologies.
Such a system can hopefully match the city's status as an international metropolis with a population of over 16 million and, accordingly, huge daily passenger flow, officials said.
According to the white paper, rail transport will become a highlight of the future system. The city has planned to build up to 200 kilometres of metro or light rail lines, with the total investment surpassing 100 billion yuan (US$12 billion), during the 2001-05 period.
Targeting a high-capacity integrated system, nine large- and middle-scale passenger transport hubs will be built during the period to ensure easy and efficient shifting among varied traffic means for local residents.
While tougher measures will be launched to limit and finally eliminate the use of polluting motorcycles and scooters, stricter emission standards will be introduced regarding other vehicles. Local cab and bus operators will be encouraged to upgrade their vehicles by using environmentally friendly energy sources.
(China Daily June 21, 2002)