Subway ridership beats forecast

April 12, 2010 | Posted by Chris

According to a new government report, Beijing's subway line 5, which opened in 2007 and runs north-south through the city, has almost hit its forecasted ridership numbers for the year 2032, the People's Daily Online writes. The report by the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference says that 800,000 journeys are made daily on line 5's 17 miles of track -- placing it 22 years ahead of schedule. The surprising news is cited as one of the many transportation challenges confronting authorities in the capital, which in 2009 had a resident population of 17.55 million people. The large numbers of passengers riding public transporation is matched by the increase in private cars on the roads: there are now 5 total peak traffic hours everyday in Beijing, up from 3.5 hours in 2008. Experts say a solution to the city's traffic woes lay in adjusted traffic routes and encouraging more people to take bikes and public buses -- which is part of an ongoing citywide push for "green" transportation.

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