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Develop public transportation to solve traffic congestion | Updated: 2013-05-10 22:59

Restricting automobiles registered in other places from running on certain roads during rush hour will not relieve traffic congestion in Guangzhou, says an editorial in Southern Metropolis Daily. Excerpts:

The Guangzhou traffic authority has barred local residents from applying for automobile license plates from other cities like Beijing and Shanghai since July. Now the authority is seeking advice from the public on the feasibility of barring automobiles with out-of-city license plates from certain areas of Guangzhou during rush hour.

This step was deemed necessary after the imposition of tight controls on local license plates for Guangzhou residents. Without the new restrictions, local drivers who cannot get local plates as quickly as they want will go to neighboring cities to register their license plates and then drive their cars in Guangzhou.

But the experience in Beijing and Shanghai proves the double restrictions cannot solve the traffic congestion themselves because of the large number of automobiles. The number of automobiles in Beijing increased from 3 million in 2005 to 5.15 million in September. More and more Beijing residents joined the monthly lottery for limited plates. The chance of winning is 1 in 80 now.

The effect of the tight controls on license plates and foreign automobiles is becoming less and less as the number of cars rises.

Guangzhou, a central city of the city groups in the Pearl River Delta, should fully consider the negative effect the double restrictions would have on the communications, logistics and people in the other eight cities that are closely connected with it.

Guangzhou should develop its public transportation to meet the rising transportation demands.

The central government in Beijing should rethink the national strategy of encouraging people to buy private cars because China cannot copy the United States' transportation model, given China's much larger population.

Increasing the costs of owning private cars and promoting public transportation are the only ways to solve traffic congestion in Chinese cities.

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