Long-term measures urged after 4-day traffic ban

Updated: 2007-08-22 15:39

"In the long run, building a fast and accessible transportation network will be a more effective way to improving Beijing's air quality," Xie said.

Beijing will build eight new subways ahead of 2012, bringing the number of subway lines to 14, totaling 407 kilometers.

Bicycles were more in evidence on the streets over the four days of the test and a Beijing company plans to make 50,000 bikes available for rent at 230 outlets around the city before the Olympics.

There are 20 million private cars across the country. In Beijing, three million cars are causing the roads to be gridlocked and the sky shrouded in smog. Many worry the city will be unable to cope with a "car crisis" as more affluent Chinese rush to buy cars.

He Bin said the bus-riding experience had at least made most car-owners consider the switch to public transport. "For a lower cost and blue sky, most people would be glad to leave their cars at home, but the government has a lot to do to ensure a sound traffic flow, including adding buses and subways and increasing the traffic police force."

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