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Transport Chiefs to Get Taste of Their Own Policies
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High-ranking public transport officials from the Shanghai Municipal Government have been told to take the bus or Metro to work every 22nd day of the month.


The move will help reduce vehicle emissions and let officials experience crowded city transport at first hand, the Shanghai Urban Transport Management Bureau said on Wednesday.


"Our department is in charge of the city's transport management and our officials need to know about the problems on the frontline," Huang Xiaoyong, a bureau official who deals with the media, said yesterday.


Huang said nearly 1,000 high-ranking officials, from the bureau to its affiliated government departments, will be forced to abandon their official cars on the 22nd of every month, starting today, March 22.


A group of watchdogs will ensure all official cars are parked at office parking lots the whole day.


Huang said officials would also be allowed to ride a bike or walk to the office, which is located at No. 100 Dagu Road near People's Square.


Taking a cab was discouraged, Huang said.


"Anyone who breaks the rule will face problems in his or her annual appraisal," he said without giving details.


Nor did he release how many cars the bureau has in total. But he said the city government planned to name September 22 as "No Car Day" when all official cars would be grounded.


The ban still holds if the 22nd falls on the weekend, said Huang, adding that some officials still had business to attend to in the office on Saturdays and Sundays.


By 2010, the city will have a Metro network of 11 lines, totaling 400 kilometers. It also plans to build more bus-only lanes to ensure timely arrivals of buses during rush hour.


(Shanghai Daily March 22, 2007)

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