Car bans will be introduced in many cities, but not throughout the cities of course. Translated from Beijing Morning Post:
China will be introducing its first no-car day on the 22nd of this month in 108 of its cities. The car ban, however, will be only applied to selected spots in those participating cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, etc.
The no-car zones in Beijing will be Wangfujing (ÁéãÂ∫ú‰∫ï)-Bamiancao (ÂÖ´Èù¢ÊßΩ) and Tianqiao (Â§©Ê°•)ÔºçZhushikou (Áè†Â∏ÇÂè£) strips, where private cars will be banned, except for police cars, ambulances, fire department vehicles and other special vehicles. Another potential exception: special passes may be available.
No-car day is just one part of a week-long public transit promotional campaign that is debuting across the country. Extra special fast bus lanes will be added in some of Beijing’s districts and the city is also opening its new subway line, 5 Train. In participating cities, educational brochures will be distributed and people are encouraged to use various means of public transit.
According to the Ministry of Construction, China’s urban population has surged to 577 million and the country has 53 million automobiles on its roads, with the number of private cars growing by 20% every year. Energy consumption for the transportation sector now accounts for a fifth of the country’s total energy use. Chinese urbanites on average have less road area than their western counterparts and only 20% of Chinese city residents use public transit.
The no-car day, according to the Ministry, will save the country 22 million liters of gasoline (8.7 million gallons) and reduce pollution emissions by 3,000 tons, plus prevent hundreds of road fatalities. The public transit usage in cities is expected to rise to as high as 50%. [Full Text in Chinese]