In 2020 public transport will be the principal means of transit for residents in the Chinese capital, accounting for 50 percent of all city trips.
Tan Xuxiang, deputy director of Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning, said as public transport develops, people living in the Beijing suburbs would be able to get to the office in an hour in 2020, Beijing News reported Tuesday
Tan said efficient public transport is a key factor in making Beijing a city that's good to live in.
"Convenient transport is a crucial factor for a livable city," he said.
Ten new underground railways, with a total length of 300 kilometers, which will cover most areas of Beijing, will be completed by the end of 2007. Several new suburban bus routes will be brought into service, and more environment-friendly buses will be commissioned.
According to statistics, public transport accounted for 26 percent of Beijing journeys in 2003, down from 35 percent in 1986, while private vehicles zoomed up from 6 percent to 23.2 percent.
Beijing had 1.54 million privately-owned cars by the end of last year. It usually takes two to three hours for people to cross the city in peak hour traffic.
Traffic flow is thought to be a major factor in ensuring the Olympic Games run smoothly in 2008.
(Xinhua News Agency September 19, 2006)