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September 20, 2010

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Home » Metro » Public Services

City preps for car-free day again

SHANGHAI will once again participate in World Car Free Day although the public has questioned the effectiveness of the campaign.

Residents living near the Expo site will be banned from using private cars on the car-free day, which is Wednesday, the same day as the Mid-Autumn Festival.

This year the city will mark the day with a ban on private cars from 7am to 7pm in a 7-square-kilometer area around the Expo site.

The area has already seen less cars than normal since the Expo started as only residents or people working there are authorized to drive cars.

Traffic officials said the ongoing Expo "is a great opportunity to raise public awareness about greener forms of transportation."

Nearly 95 percent of Expo visitors arrive to the site via mass transit such as subways and buses.

The Expo organizer's goal was to have 90 percent of visitors use public transport.

However, the car-free day has tended to be more symbolic than substantial since Shanghai first took part in 2007, when a 12-hour ban was put in place in several areas within the central business district.

In 2008, the duration was cut to six hours and fewer streets were selected. Last year, the ban on cars was reduced to two-and-a-half hours.

Drivers complained that the limited nature of the ban had little effect on traffic and that the controls and lack of adequate warning caused surrounding streets to become parking lots.

Cars are the biggest source of carbon emissions in the transport industry and Shanghai has 1.46 million cars.


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