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Capital Cars Charged More for Parking

A new parking fee was introduced in Beijing Thursday in a bid to relieve traffic congestion in the city.

The new charges on outdoor car parks within the Fourth Ring Road will be 2 yuan (US$24 cents) per hour for cars and 4 yuan (US$48 cents) per hour for trucks and buses, almost double the previous charges.

The fees charged for outdoor parking outside of the Fourth Rng Road are half of the above prices. In the evening, all car parks will charge 1 yuan (US$12 cents) for cars every two hours and 2 yuan (US$24 cents) for trucks.

Beijing has at least 1.75 million motor vehicles at present, but there are only 800 public parking lots that can accommodate about 70,000 vehicles, according to officials with the municipal Administration Committee.

In some car parks in downtown areas the fee for parking is 10 yuan (US$1.2).

While in other areas, car parking fees are as low as 1 yuan (US$12 cents) per hour, following a rule enforced in 1991 which states that car parks cannot make profit.

In this situation car parks can neither earn enough money to invest, or attract capital to improve and expand public parking lots, said Wu Peiji, deputy director with the committee in a report in yesterday's Beijing Morning Post.

In commercial districts such as Wangfujing-Dongdan, Xidan, Qianmen, Chaoyang Business District and the core centre of Zhongguancun, fees will be no higher than 5 yuan (60 US cents) for cars.

The municipal pricing authority has acknowledged that the increase in price of car parks is the highest that Beijing has ever seen, although compared to other large cities it remains cheap.

Cars are charged 10 yuan (US$1.2) per hour in Shanghai's downtown areas. In Guangzhou, car parks charge 4 to 6 yuan (48 to 72 US cents) each hour.

A hearing on car park charges was held in April, with car park managers, government officials, consumers and scholars attending. They all agreed that the adjustment was necessary and acceptable. To ensure the effect of the new standard, pricing authorities require that all public car parks set up big signs at the gate indicating the prices.

(China Daily June 7, 2002)

Beijing Not Worried by Increasing Number of Cars
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