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January 23, 2013

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Growing number of cars add to traffic woes

THE Shanghai traffic police's effort to restrict cars with out-of-town number plates from using the elevated roads during rush hours is not helping in easing the traffic as the number of local cars out on the roads is on the rise, officials said yesterday.

The city traffic authorities warned yesterday that local drivers and commuters are in for far severe and longer road congestion, underscoring the deteriorating traffic year after year.

The situation was the same for users of the Metro as well.

So far, the traffic administration don't seem to have a better solutions but are urging city folks to use the public transports like subway and buses as much as possible despite being packed to the hilt during rush hour.

The city government expects 50 percent of the people to use public transports for commuting by the end of 2015.

"The city's road traffic is very fragile," said Qin Yun, a deputy director with Shanghai Construction and Transport Commission.

"The growing strain of commuting and the lack of traffic facilities will be more obvious this year. We advise drivers to plan routes ahead to avoid getting stuck in congested roads," said Qin.

Jammed by vehicles

There is hardly a place on downtown roads or elevated roads that is not jammed by long queues of vehicles during rush hour.

Last year, the vehicle flow increased by 3 percent on the elevated roads while the vehicle speeds were down by 5 percent due to long lines and gridlocks. Officials expect that during rush hours this year, the vehicle speed will remain under 36 kilometers per hour on elevated highways and between 16-18 kph below on the roads.

The increasing volume of local vehicles every day offsets the effect of the ban on out-of-town vehicles using elevated roads, traffic officials said.

After the end of rush-hour ban on out-of-town vehicles, they swarm the elevated roads in a phenomenon termed as "afternoon congestion."

The city had more than 1.4 million private cars at the end of last year, and the number is expected to increase to 1.62 million this year. The locally registered vehicles also surpassed 2.62 million in total.

Drivers are forced to go slower on the roads, especially on the elevated roads, while the weekend traffic comes to a standstill more often now.

More than 540 construction projects also add to the traffic woes, traffic police said.

Subway users up

The subway network, which is among the fastest growing in the world, is not a safe outlet as well. The number of subway users will reach 7 million daily this year with the opening of three lines - up from current more than 6 million.

That amounts to 36.5 percent of the total commuting volume of the public transport system.

That number is expected to gradually grow to 50 percent.

The daily commuting volume on the subway is now 17 million per day in the city.


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