The Beijing government is considering launching a London-style congestion charge to help reduce the capital’s worsening traffic, Global Times reports.
Wen Huimin, deputy director of the Beijing Transportation Research Center, said during an interview with the Beijing government’s official website on Tuesday that the traffic congestion index (TCI) has risen to 5.0, 6.4 percent higher than the data from last year.
TCI is the digitized state of traffic congestion. The larger the index goes, the more severe traffic congestion has become.
The average Beijing driver spends around 100 minutes stuck in traffic during weekdays, and increase of 200 percent over last year.
“We are doing extensive research on how to charge the congestion fee,” said Wen. “Questions such as how to divert traffic and how to manage the transportation needs of residents in the congested areas require systematic study.”
The London congestion charge, introduced in 2003, has reduced the amount of traffic in the British capital, though Beijing’s roads are considerably busier and it is debatable how well the scheme would work in a totally different city.
A better solution to Beijing woes (smog as well as traffic) might be to move the Chinese capital to another city, or at least some of the government facilities, a call echoed by Niu Fengrui, director of the Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in the Global Times.
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