Congestion fees opposed in online poll
Updated: 2012-10-09 19:00
By Aa Baijie (chinadaily.com.cn)
More than three-quarters of those who responded to an online poll oppose the Beijing municipal government's plan to charge congestion fees as a way to ease traffic.
According to the poll, sponsored by China Youth Daily, 74.8 percent of the 2,148 respondents said that their cities have serious traffic congestion problems, but 75.4 percent of them opposed charging congestion fees.
Among those polled, 67.8 percent are private-vehicle owners.
The Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport released in August a five-year plan in which it said the government is planning to make regulations that would allow it to charge congestion fees.
About 66.2 percent of the poll's participants agreed that the government should resolve the congestion problem by improving the city's planning process, the road repairing projects, and the traffic management mechanism, rather than charging fees from car owners who have already paid administrative fees, according to a China Youth Daily report on Oct 9.
The number of vehicles on Beijing's streets surpassed 5 million at the beginning of this year. The municipal government has taken a series of measures to counter the congestion, including launching a lottery system for those seeking car plates.
Zhang Yuanyuan, a car owner in Beijing who works as a civil servant, said that charging congestion fees is unlikely to ease the city's traffic jams.
"Several years ago, the government raised the standard of parking fees with the excuse of easing traffic congestion, but the traffic is getting even worse," he said. "So I don't think charging car owners more would make the situation better."