Rail chief confident subway network will unclog roads

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 March, 2008, 12:00am

Beijing will step up its campaign to drive its car-obsessed citizens out of their vehicles and onto the city's expanding subway network, a top transport official said yesterday.

Lu Zongcun, general manager of Beijing MTR's communication division, said 'speed, convenience and cheap tickets would be enough to attract people' onto the subways.

During a press tour of the new 13.5 billion yuan (HK$14.77 billion) Line No10 yesterday, one of four new lines to open before the Olympics on August 8, Mr Lu said the city would roll out an integrated public information campaign to entice some of the 3 million-plus drivers clogging the roads with their new cars back onto public transport.

'This is a public industry, so it is policy to have some education and media [government campaigns] to attract people to the lines,' he said.

The first phase of the 22.5km semi-loop line would open to the public in June, and passengers would be able to ride from the eastern part of the central business district to the university district of Haidian. The line would include interchange stations to the Olympic Line, which is a spur to many of the Olympic venues, and the Airport Express line, both of which would also open before the Games.

The loop line - the city's second of three planned circular routes - would be completed by 2012 and would carry 40,000 passengers an hour during rush hour, Mr Lu said.

'People living within the Third Ring Road will be only 1km from the nearest subway station,' he said.