More than 1 million automobiles will be banned from driving
in Beijing during the Olympic Games in 2008 to reduce traffic
congestion and improve air quality.
Liu Xiaoming, vice director of the Beijing Municipal
Transportation Committee, said that the ban is expected to reduce
the number of vehicles in Beijing by 20 percent to 30 percent
during the games.
The vehicles belonging to government departments and state-owned
enterprises will have restricted access to Beijing's downtown and
citizens will be encouraged to reduce the use of private cars, Liu
said. Heavily polluting trucks will be banned.
During the games free bus service will be available for
athletes, spectators and games' volunteers and workers, said
Statistics show that the number of newly registered automobiles
in Beijing is growing 1,060 a day. There are currently 2.97 million
automobiles in the city. That number is expected to exceed 3.3
million by the time the Olympic Games begin in August 2008.
When China-Africa Forum convened in Beijing in November last
year, Beijing authorities also restricted the use of vehicles
belonging to government departments and state-owned enterprises,
and shortened school hours to ease traffic congestion.
Half of the business vehicles from central government
departments and army vehicles in Beijing, and 80 percent of the
cars from the Beijing municipal government departments and the
provincial bureaus located in the capital, were banned from the
roads during the forum.
(Xinhua News Agency April 19, 2007)