100b yuan for new subways
|November 12, 2012||Posted by Overseas Sharing Communication China under Road News||
Beijing will invest 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) to build 200 more kilometers of subway line in the future, making it the one of world’s longest subway networks, but figures have shown that although more lines have been opened, Beijing’s subway is getting more and more crowded.
Chen Gang, the deputy mayor of Beijing who is responsible for urban planning, described rail transit as the ultimate solution for traffic in an international metropolis on Saturday, the Beijing Evening News reported.
“Beijing has spent 260 billion yuan on rail transit, and we will spend 100 billion yuan more to finish a 660-kilometer long railway network,” said Chen.
According to the Beijing Public Transport Bureau, Beijing will have three circle lines, four horizontal lines, five vertical lines and eight radial lines in operation by the end of 2015.
The Beijing Subway Company said its passenger flow reached seven million passengers on April 29 last year, and on April 28 this year it peaked at eight million travelers.
The mass construction of subway lines has relieved pressure on public transportation, but the current design may make carriages more crowded.
Meng Bin, professor of urban planning at Beijing Union University, told the Global Times Beijing’s transit network still has room to improve.
“The design of radial lines means that passengers who are traveling long and short distances stay on the same train [instead of interchanging]. So though more lines have been opened, trains will only get more crowded,” he said.
Meng said there are not enough transit stations currently, which also adds extra passenger numbers in each train, and suggested that Beijing should learn from New York City, which has several lines in places with a high passenger flow to split the flow rather than adding more departures.
“For example, there is only one main station [Guomao] in the prosperous CBD area, which means everyone has to use it. Although Line 1 already has most departures, it still suffers great pressure,” said Meng.
Large areas of the city are also not covered by the network, and sometimes citizens need to walk for a long distance to get to a station, he noted.
“To avoid such a situation and guarantee efficiency, the urban planning department should take both ground and underground levels into consideration,” said Meng.
By the end of 2012, sections of four more subway lines will open, altogether 70 kilometers of new lines, making the whole network 442 kilometers in length, longer than London’s network, which is 402 kilometers, said Jia Peng, spokesman of Beijing Subway.
The average cost of constructing subway lines in China is 500 million yuan ($80 million) per kilometer, the China Youth Daily reported in 2011.
By contrast, Singapore’s new Circle Line cost $130 million per kilometer, a new line in Madrid cost $58 million per kilometer, while extensions to the subways in Paris and Berlin cost around $250 million per kilometer, according to The Atlantic in May, 2011.
Source: Global Times