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Traffic mounts in Shanghai and Beijing
The Epoch Times
4/19/2004



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Traffic congestion in Shanghai and Beijing are causing these cities to limit auto usage with driving restrictions and toll fees. Many cities in the Mainland have implemented car restriction policies including a new law commonly referred to as a “congestion fee” that requires drivers to pay an entrance fee.

The transportation department in China said cars are a problem for every country, calling it the “large cities’ disease.” Cities in developed countries such as London and Singapore have automobile access fees and even Taipei is devising car restriction policies.

As reported by the People’s Daily, Cui Ganglin, a taxi driver for Jinjian Taxi Company said, “Everyday there are at least five hours of traffic congestion. When I’m in a hurry, I really feel like smashing the cars.” In recent years, Beijing has also started to strictly limit auto usage. For instance, cars with odd-number license plates are not allowed to drive inside the city on even-numbered dates. All these strategies are aimed to decrease daily traffic. Cui said jokingly, “The speed of a car in Beijing is a half a meter per second and a car’s mileage is zero miles every five minutes or for that matter- zero miles every ten minutes.”

In Beijing there are over two million cars now, but estimates indicate that by 2010 the expected 7.6 million cars will far exceed what the city can handle. For several years, Beijing has restricted entrance for cars with engines less then 1300 cc into the city, car day restrictions, prohibiting small trucks to drive on the Second-Ring Road only and banning cars with a high carbon dioxide emission from entering the city.

According to the United Daily News, in Shanghai the 1.5 million registered vehicles must bid on license plates paying upwards of 40,000 yuan.

Taipei is considering incorporating a toll fee for cars. According to recent statistics from the Taipei transportation department, there are 1.7 million vehicles in Taipei. Most are motorcycles, with approximately 700,000 smaller automobiles on the road.

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