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January 15, 2011

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Home » Metro » Public Services

City has plan to better integrate public transport

SHANGHAI is determined to improve public transport and reduce road congestion in the next few years but has no plan to change the monthly auction for car license plates, the city's transport bureau director said yesterday.

"Providing a more convenient public transport network is our top initiative to relieve urban traffic pressure," Sun Jianping, director of the Shanghai Communications, Transport and Port Administration Bureau, told Shanghai Daily yesterday. "People can expect to see more Metro lines built with connecting bus routes. But stronger controls to discourage the use of cars and relieve traffic congestion are not possible in the next few years."

Beijing recently enacted measures to ease its traffic gridlock. It introduced a lottery system to issue new car plates and occasionally uses traffic restrictions requiring vehicles only be used on alternative days based on plate numbers.

The capital's new traffic policies have stirred wide discussion and speculation among Shanghai locals, who wonder whether the local government will copy the measures to tackle the problem in Shanghai.

"We will not restrict driving in downtown areas unless we are able to ensure a very quick, convenient and powerful public transport network," Sun said.

He added the public transport system still needs much improvement.

This includes better integration of subway lines and nearby bus routes.

The average Shanghai commuter spent about 50 minutes traveling between home and work each way last year, according to a national statistics authority report, which was based on surveys with thousands of residents.

Shanghai will stick to its monthly car plate auctions, which have helped control the growth of vehicles on roads in recent years, according to the transport authorities.

About 100,000 people received car plates through the monthly auctions last year, Sun said.

"We have an overall plan each year on how many new plates can be issued to keep traffic under control," he said.

Spurred by an unexpected price drop in car plates last month, about 60,000 people have registered for the January auction, much more than usual, Sun said.

However, some locals said too many car plates are being issued.


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