The 47-year–old taxi driver Jiang Guisheng is counting the days to retirement so he can drive a car and travel all over the country, with the first destination being Zhengjiajie, a picturesque place in Central China’s Hunan province.
Jiang has been driving a taxi for 22 years, since right after he finished his military service. Unlike most taxi drivers in Beijing who work about 12 hours a day, Jiang manages his time in an easy way and wants to live a life of quality.
He starts work around 6:30, has lunch usually at a fixed time, takes a break before driving again at 2 pm, and goes back home around 5:30 pm to avoid the evening rush.
The biggest headache for Jiang is the traffic jam, and he sees the situation worsening day by day in Beijing as the number of vehicles has reached 4.7 million. It is difficult to find a parking space and some cars even occupy the fire lanes in residential communities, increasing the risks in case of fire emergency, said Jiang.
Jiang suggests the Beijing government dramatically increase the license plate fee like Shanghai. "What will happen if you charge 100,000 yuan for registering a car worth 50,000 yuan?" The driver, reluctant to pose for a photo, also urges scrapping the vehicles in a stricter way and kicking the old ones off the street. “The breakdown of cars causes blocks in the road. I hope the cars on the streets are all of high quality.”
Another possible solution to the traffic jam is to improve the criterion of getting driving licenses and stop making a fuss over mild collisions. “If the damage is not serious, try to reach a compromise immediately, and don’t let other people wait on the road.”