On August 9 Beijing announced a drill to test the effectiveness
of the Olympic host city's efforts to improve air quality and ease
From August 17 to 20, about 1.3 million vehicles - nearly half
of the total 3 million in the city - will be ordered off the roads
as part of pre-Olympic tests, according to the city's environmental
and traffic authorities.
On August 17 and 19 (Friday and Sunday), only vehicles with a
license plate ending in an odd number will be allowed on the
On August 18 and August 20 (Saturday and Monday), plates ending
with an even number are permitted.
The rule applies to Beijing-registered vehicles as well as those
from outside the city.
In addition to the 27 air-quality monitoring stations spread
across all the 18 districts and counties, three new stations and
two new mobile monitoring vehicles will be put to use.
Vehicles exempt from the drill will include those of the police,
ambulance, fire, postal, and breakdown services and the public
transit system as well as those belonging to embassies and
Rush hour services of the bus and metro systems will be extended
to three hours, 6:30 AM to 9:30 AM, from the usual two hours, 7 AM
to 9 AM.
Civic servants are expected to arrive to their offices half an hour
earlier at 8 AM, and shopping malls will open doors one hour later
at 10 AM.