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Beijing's Boom Brings a Bonanza of China Bus Industry

2008-08-29    Source:english.chinabuses.com

The addition of special bus routes during the Olympics is the latest expansion of this form of public transportation as Beijing tries to keep pace with the increasing demands of rapid urbanization and population growth in the last two decades. The city is encouraging more residents to take the bus with low fares, good facilities and routes with wide coverage.


Even without the advent of the Beijing Olympics, more than 12 million people take buses every day in Beijing. This public transportation system covers 18 districts and operates 633 routes.



"Beijing is a huge metropolis which means the traffic patterns are complicated for public transportation, so it is very important to arrange the bus routes scientifically," said Zhang Zheng, a 27-year-old conductor of Bus No 27 said.


The reduction in bus fare is an effective way to encourage people to take public transportation, which helps alleviate traffic congestion, Beijing Public Transport's Liu said.


"In 2005, about 28 percent of residents took the bus," Liu said, "while today more than 34 percent take the bus as their first choice."


Wu Jialu, a white-collar worker, is certainly one. "I will take the bus as my first choice because we enjoy the lowest bus fares in the world, in my opinion," he said.


Deputy Director Zhou Zhengyu of the Beijing Municipal Committee for Communications said Wednesday that the current low bus fares are not just for the duration of the Games but will remain in place for a considerable amount of time afterwards.


"We have successfully brought public transportation into (all) communities as of 2005," Zhou said.


According to Liu of Beijing Public Transport, 131 new bus routes have been added since 2006, 65 of which connects more than 500 communities, including Tiantongyuan, Huilongguan and Fengtai district, to downtown Beijing.


There are eight special Olympic bus routes, which operate between 6 am to 10 pm every day, and 26 express buses, which operate three hours before and one hour after each event at certain venues.


Each venue has at least one special bus that stops directly at the security doors of each venue.


For some important venues like the Bird's Nest, there are seven special routes and seven express buses. People who want to check where to take these special buses can check from the government website.



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