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City drivers may be charged 'congestion fares' to ease traffic

SHANGHAI plans to charge drivers fares when roads are most congested and look into further vehicle restrictions based on traffic and environmental conditions, according to a traffic white paper issued by the city today.

The city, straining under increasing vehicle volumes and limited capacity to expand roads, said it's still doing research on congestion fares in specific regions or thoroughfares.

Officials disclosed neither specific suggestions nor a timetable.

However, officials said other traffic management measures are definitely on the way following the city's ban on vehicles with out-of-town plates on local elevated roads during the rush hour.

The traffic authorities said they would "make adjustments on vehicle types, time spans and areas" in regard to freeway restrictions.

Officials said they are continuing to improve their vehicle plate policy by setting up proper thresholds of appliers and building a quota management information platform.

The city has about 1.4 million private cars and the number is increasing by 200,000 annually.

Priority will be given to public transportation in terms of growth of the subway system and addition of more bus-only lanes. 

Prices may be trimmed for frequent riders and transit operators are encouraged to issue different types of discount tickets, the white paper said.

The city hopes to work with neighboring cities in Yangtze River Delta to set up consistent policies and plans.

The city issued its first traffic white paper in 2002. The new white paper has been posted on the city government website and


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