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Beijing's public transportation needs improvement

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-08-23 21:49

Beijing has been constantly expanding in size, but its public transportation lags behind. In some newly constructed neighborhoods, residents without automobiles have to rely on unlicensed taxis for daily transportation. A column in People's Daily urges further development of the public transportation system. Excerpts below:

In recent years, Beijing has launched several campaigns against unlicensed taxis but they never disappear. On the contrary, we can see increasingly more of them in our daily life and, in some newly constructed residential areas in suburban areas, they have become the main choice for residents.

There are two main causes for this dilemma: first, there are not enough licensed taxis. In the mid-1990s, Beijing had about 60,000 taxis in all; today the number has risen to about 67,000, although the population has almost doubled.

Secondly, there is a far from sufficient number of public buses. In some newly constructed neighborhoods, there is still no bus line and a new service called "lady motorpad" has emerged, with women driving passengers to and from subway stations that are a long way to walk to and from.

To solve the problem, it is necessary for authorities to increase the number of licensed taxis as well as develop the bus system. Tongzhou district recently claimed that the first 200 electric taxis in the district will be on the road in late September, while the municipal transportation authority also promised to open more bus lines for faraway neighborhoods. We hope they can honor their promise so residents do not need to take unlicensed taxis anymore.

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