Beijing OKs electric bicycles to ease traffic
Updated: 2006-01-01 10:36
The Chinese capital removes ban on electric
bicycles from the beginning of 2006 to ease city traffic, which becomes
increasingly congested due to fast rising numbers of cars on the road.
A circular of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau said from January
4, electric bikes that have met national standards and entered an approved list
are officially allowed to take to the road after being registered with the
city's traffic administration.
The city stopped registering electric bikes from August 2002 after the number
reached tens of thousands, citing the reason that used batteries of such bikes
are hard to dispose of and may pollute the environment.
The point has been hotly debated by the public. Electric bike producers
argued a sound system for retrieving and disposing of used batteries has been
established. Beijing citizens generally favor lifting the ban, saying such bikes
are very convenient means of transportation.
Buses and subway trains in Beijing are notoriously crowded. Electric bikes
are the best option for a large number of people who desire quick transport but
can not comfortably afford cars.
Electric bike producers, environmental experts and ordinary citizens have
never stopped lobbying for the removal of the ban.
Removal of the ban came as pressure mounts on city administrators to tackle
horrible traffic congestion, air pollution and possible fuel supply, caused to a
large extent by a rapidly growing number of cars on the road.
It is just part of a series of measures undertaken by the capital city to
address traffic congestion. Other major steps include greatly increasing the
number of buses and building more urban railways.
Some other areas in China, including a few cities in Hubei and Guangdong
provinces, still ban the use of electric bikes.