big public transport news

October 1st, 2008

Excellent news to match the experimental traffic restrictions! 新京报/The Beijing News’ Li Liqiang reports that not only is the subway to be dramatically extended, it will reach all the way to the Sixth Ring Road and within the Fourth Ring Road you won’t have to walk more than one kilometre to reach a subway station. And they’re going to keep the prices low.


Beijing’s rail transport network to reach Sixth Ring


Within the Fourth Ring there will be one subway on average every kilometre, public transport low-cost policy won’t change


Yesterday, Beijing Municipal Transport Committee announced the plan to prioritise the development of public transport and made clear that the direction of the low-cost public transport policy would not change. In the two years from today, the length of special bus lanes would be extended to 450 kilometres and express bus lanes would be built on Fushi Lu and Guangqu Lu. These are thought to be complementary to the traffic restriction policy announced last week.

The article is then broken into sections dealing with each specific point of the announced policy. First up is subway line 15:


Route of Line 15 being fine-tuned


Vice-Chairman of the Beijing Municipal Transport Committee Zhou Zhengyu said yesterday that apart from the subway lines 7 and 14 which are to begin construction this year, the subway line 15 in the planning stages is being fine-tuned, and once it is set it will run from Shunyi to Wangjing, then through such areas as Datun Lu, Yayun Cun [Asian Games Village], Aoyun Cun [Olympic Games Village], Zhongguancun, and the Central Party School. ALong the way it will pass through the Olympic Centre.


Zhou Zhengyu said, if Line 10 in its northern section takes the Third-and-a-half Ring, Line 15 will take the North Fourth-and-a-half Ring. Line 15 will pass underground through Tsinghua University, and will have an interchange with the Olympic Branch Line [Line 8] in the Olympic Centre, and make an underground loop around Zhongguancun. Currently, preparations for this line are being sped up.

Note: The northern section of Line 10 runs parallel with the North Third and Fourth Ring Roads roughly halfway in between them, hence “Third-and-a-half Ring”. Also, I think Mr Zhou needs a map in front of him before he starts giving directions. I would’ve thought Olympic Centre-Zhongguancun-Tsinghua would be a more logical order. They way he talks my mind has this new line doing a crazy zigzag across the north of the city. Anyway, a subway station every kilometre within the Fourth Ring (something Line 15 won’t be contributing much too):


Walk one kilometre you’ll reach a subway within the Fourth Ring


According to the plan, Beijing will expand the rail transport network in the central city. In 2015, Beijing will realise the “Three rings, four horizontals, five north-souths, seven radiates” for a rail transport network with a total length of 561 kilometres, covering a radius of 30 kilometres, reaching the Sixth Ring. In the future, when Beijing citizens go out, within the Fourth Ring they’ll be able to walk an average of one kilometre and reach a subway station.

Yeah, alright, I lied, it’s not a subway station every kilometre, only on average every kilometre. There’s a difference.


Zhou Zhengyu said Zhongguancun, Jinrong Jie [Finance Street], West Station, Beijing South Station, the Olympic Green, the CBD will all have several subway lines linking them. Changping and 7 other counties and districts and surrounding new towns will all have railways linking them.


Guangqu Lu to build an express bus line

在路权分配上,周正宇说,北京交通今后将进一步向公交、非机动车倾斜,到2010年,公交专用道将由目前的285公里延长到450公 里,7000人以上的居住小区都通达公交线路。目前,公交车进出站时和非机动车交叉过多的问题非常突出,这是最近一段时间内交通部门重点研究的课题。

On the distribution of road rights, Zhou Zhengyu said, that in the near future Beijing will incline one step further towards public transport and non-motorised vehicles. By 2010, special bus lanes will be extended from the current 285 kilometres to 450 kilometres, and over 7000 people’s residential areas will be reached by bus routes. Currently, there are many prominent problems when buses, on entering and exiting bus stops, cross with non-motorised traffic. This has been a key subject of research for the transport authorities in recent times.


Zhou Zhengyu said Beijing has already begun dedicated research on the allocation of road rights to motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians.


Zhou Zhengyu also said, the construction of the high-capacity express bus route on Fushi Lu would progress in conjunction with the construction of the roadway. Also, the construction of the high-capacity express bus route along Guangqu Lu was in the planning stages.

Ouch. My impression is the Fushi Lu express bus route would be built at the same time as and along with the construction of the roadway itself. I’m still struggling to find a way to say that clearly.


Standard express bus being experimented


Apart from the high-capacity express bus transport model, Zhou Zhengyu said that currently a “Standard Express Bus System” is being built along the Route 5 and other bus routes.


Comprehensive hubs to be built at Pingguo Yuan and Wangjing


At present, comprehensive hubs, Beijing’s Level 1 interchanges with an interchange rate of over 80 thousand person-times per day, have been built at the Zoo, Liuli Qiao, West Station North Plaza, and Dongzhimen. They are under construction at Yimuyuan and West Station South Plaza. Comprehensive hubs are also planned to be built at Beitaiping Zhuang, Pingguoyuan, and Wangjing, where they can realise smooth linkage and “zero change” between many forms of transport such as bus, subway, long distance, taxi and bicycle.

No, I don’t really get the technical stuff in this paragraph. I assume “long distance” refers to inter-city/province trains and buses.


24 park-and-ride stations to be added


At present, the construction of “park-and-ride” stations has been completed at Tiantongyuan North and the Batong Line’s Beiyuan and the implentation of low-cost parking has begun. The fee for parking once is 1 yuan based on the driver’s record of using the subway the same day. 24 more park-and-ride stations along rail- and high-capacity express bus lines have been planned for the near future and a low-cost or free park-and-ride policy will be implemented, leading people to change from cars to public transport.

Well, it sounds like the city government has finally abandoned it’s “copy Texas and buy lots of huge cars” policy for an advanced, comprehensive transport system aimed at sidelining cars in favour of public transport and non-polluting, non-motorised vehicles (Go the bicycles! Transport of the future!). Excellent news, indeed.

3 Responses to “big public transport news”

  1. The Week that Was Says:

    […] A new round of traffic restrictions are going to be implemented on a trial basis from October 11 to April 10, however, to try to “to cut gridlock and improve air quality.”  The restrictions appear hopelessly complex (cars with license numbers that end in 5 can’t drive on days when Jupiter aligns with Mars, etc.), and probably won’t work anyway, but at least there are plans to expand the Beijing subway system.  […]

  2. James Davies Says:

    Today’s 新京报 has got a report of news that work on Line 6 will be starting early spring 2009. It says if you include the work already started on line 7, next year work’ll be underway on a total of 13, read it, 13 new subway lines (think they’re including the what will presumably be ‘light rail’ Fangshan, and other such lines, but anyway). Granted, the earliest of them will be ready for passengers in 2010… but all in all appears as if the 1K boast is no boast but actually a cast-iron, money-back guarantee. Unless a seriously massive turnaround puts a (oh dear) spanner in the … we’ll’ve been metrolised in time for Shanghai 2010. Ahem.

  3. wangbo Says:

    Thanks for the heads-up James. I haven’t had time to check the 新京报 today, Monday being my biggest day. Sounds like most excellent news indeed.