No traffic ban before July: Official
By Lei Lei (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-03-13 07:20
The traffic ban for the Olympics will not be imposed until July, one month before the opening of the Games, a senior city official said yesterday.
"The traffic ban will not be imposed too early it should be in July," Ji Lin, vice-mayor of Beijing and NPC deputy, said.
To ensure smooth traffic for the Beijing Games, which will open on Aug 8, the host city has promised to order vehicles to stay off roads every other day, according to even- and odd-numbered vehicle license plates.
Some vehicles belonging to government departments and State-owned enterprises will also be affected.
"The traffic ban will be carried out in two stages. The first stage will restrict some vehicles of government departments and enterprises and more measures will be taken to get rid of polluting vehicles," Ji said on the sidelines of the ongoing annual NPC session.
"As for imposing the 'even and odd numbers' rule on a large scale, it will be conducted before the opening of the Games," Ji said.
Owners of private cars will receive financial compensation, Ji said. He gave no details of the plan.
"The details are still under discussion and will be released later by related government departments," he said.
Ji also said that the impact of the move on members of the public will be reduced as much as possible.
"To facilitate travel, 1,800 more buses will be added to routes and some of them will have their operating times extended," Ji said.
"By the end of June, subway No 10, the Olympic brand line and the subway linking the airport will be put in use.
"They will also offer more choices for travel in the city," he said.
A command center for the smooth operation of the whole capital during the Olympic sporting event will also be set up, headed by Beijing mayor Guo Jinlong.
The center will consist of all related agencies of the municipal government, including the transport, power supply and security departments.
"It is our responsibility to fulfill our commitment to ensuring a smooth running of the whole city for the duration of the Games," Ji said.
"At the same time, hosting the Olympic Games is a good opportunity for us to improve our city operations.
"These advanced operations will last for a long time after the Games and continue to benefit our city."