Beijing's largest traffic hub, also the western terminus of the
airport railway, is expected to start operation ahead of the Olympic Games, allowing passengers to go
through boarding procedures downtown, said the construction
Dongzhimen traffic hub, covering 78,000 square meters, is
located on the northeast corner of the second ring road, one of
several major roads that encircle downtown Beijing, according to an
official of Beijing Dongzhimen Airport Express Rail Co., Ltd.
The key structure of the hub, the Dongzhimen air service
building, has been completed and will open in July, before the
Olympics, the official said.
Passengers bound for Beijing Capital International Airport can
finish boarding procedures on the first basement floor and get on
airport trains on the second basement floor, when the traffic hub
becomes operational, said Huang Gang, deputy general manager of
Beijing Capital International Airport Co., Ltd.
The airport railway, with four stops at Dongzhimen, Sanyuan
Bridge and two terminals (T2 and T3) of the airport, has also been
completed and will be in operation by July.
The rail line's top speed will be 110 kilometers per hour,
making the journey from Dongzhimen to the airport in the northeast
suburbs in only 16 minutes, compared with at least 30 minutes by
taxi on an expressway.
The hub, serving as an interchange for subways, downtown and
suburban buses, and the airport railway, is forecast to handle
54,000 passengers per hour at peak hours by 2012.
Beijing, with a population of 17 million, had 3.08 million
registered motor vehicles as of August. It has taken several steps,
including slashing bus fares and metro ticket prices and improving
public transit infrastructure, to ease traffic and improve air
quality ahead of the Olympics.
(Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2007)