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Traffic plan expanded

BEIJING plans to expand its flexible working hours program to government agencies to ease congestion.

The capital altered working hours for the city's state-owned enterprises from July 20 last year as part of efforts to smooth traffic during the Olympic and Paralympic Games last August and September. It now plans to let more government-backed entities join the scheme by the end of the year, The Beijing News reported yesterday.

A plan issued by the Beijing Municipal Government on Monday said the new policy would raise average vehicle speeds during rush hours by 3 percent by 2012.

The new policy is part of government measures to limit the number of official vehicles on the street during rush hours.

"It is the right way to solve congestion and improve public services," said Zhu Lijia, a professor in the National School of Administration.

Authorities also encouraged IT firms and research institutions to provide services online or to use flexible working schedules when possible.


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