Beijing traffic congestion eases

Updated: 2011-04-18 13:32

By Jia Xu (

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Beijing witnessed a one hour reduction in traffic congestion in the first quarter of the year, thanks to the latest efforts to tackle the gridlock, Beijing Times reported.

The traffic index, a major gauge measuring traffic congestion, decreased 16.6 percent compared to last year.

In addition, the volume of passengers on public transport has increased. The subway alone doubled its passenger volume.

Guo Jifu,director of Beijing Traffic Development Research Center (TDRC) said the average vehicle speed within Beijing’s fifth ring roads during the mroning rush hour, 7 am - 9 am, also jumped up 9.1 percent, with an average speed of 27.5 km/h, comparing 25.2km/h last year.

There was a 59.1 percent drop in new vehicles purchases after Beijing started a car plate license lottery on Jan 1 this year. Authorities in traffic-clogged Beijing began using the lottery in an attempt to control the number of vehicles on the streets.

According to the TDRC figures, Beijing currently has a 4.9 million car population, and among the 83,000 new cars only 12,000 got license plates.

The reasons behind the improved figures in the capital include the car plate lottery, the rise of oil and parking prices, and increased public awareness of green transportation, a TDRC officer said.

Beijing will continue its vehicles plate number restrictions to improve the traffic situation, Guo said.


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