New Traffic Measures: Fines, Extended Subway Hours and More Buses
New traffic measures that will see up to 800,000 cars taken off Beijing’s road every working day, come into effect today. All cars with license plates ending with either a 1 or 6 are not permitted to be driven within the Fifth Ring Road between 6am to 9pm this evening. Announced in late September, see our earlier post here, the plan is to have cars with number plates ending with certain digits banned from the roads within the Fifth Ring Road one day a week. In the past few days Beijing authorities have released more detailed information about the plan:
For the first month of implementation drivers caught taking their vehicles to the road on restricted days will get off with a verbal warning. After this initial period, those caught flaunting the ban will be fined RMB 100. However, no points will be deducted from the driver’s license.
Extended Subway Hours
In order to support the new car restriction measures, the Beijing Subway Company has announced that they will extend the operating hours of the city’s subway lines starting this week, though details of the new running times have still not been released. In a related move, public transport authorities will also increase the number of bus lines servicing the first/final stops on the various subway lines.
Starting from today, the city’s transport bureau will increase the number of buses on Beijing’s streets by 10% to 18,000 vehicles. The bureau has also announced that 10 of the 34 Olympic bus lines will be retained indefinitely and that these services will now operate from 6am daily. They’ve also increased the number of evening services by 3 lines so that there are now 15 lines operating overnight. They’ve also extended the operating hours of other bus lines.
Varied Office and Business Hours
The office hours of various unspecified industries and work units scattered across the city have been staggered to start at 8.30, 9 and 9.30am to help relieve peak hour traffic congestion. The office hours of national government bodies, Beijing government offices and schools remain the same. Business hours of most of Beijing’s large department stores have been set as 10am-10pm. Most stores we’re already operating on this time frame but some department stores have been forced to push back the time they open by half and hour.
An Added Layer of Complexity
Like the rules of a complex card game, the new regulations state that each month the days that certain cars are forced to remain in the garage will change. So although cars with registration plates ending in 1 or 6 won’t be able to drive on Monday’s for the whole month, come November they’ll be off the road on some other day of the week. The traffic bureau will announce the measures a week before the start of every month.
Links and Sources
China Daily: New traffic restriction takes effect in Beijing
The Beijinger: Beyond Odds and Evens: Beijing’s New Plan to Reduce the Number of Cars
The Beijinger: On the Road: Petrol Prices Up, Personalized Plates and Cops on Electric Bikes
The Beijing News: 尾号1和6今禁入五环
Sohu: 北京将施行交通便民新措施 下周地铁末班车延时