More than 150 Chinese cities including Beijing observed World Car Free Day on Sunday to fight air pollution, but the capital remained clogged with traffic jams.
Car-free zones were introduced in areas near Beijing Olympic Park, the bustling commercial street of Wangfujing, and popular tourist destination Nanluoguxiang on Sunday.
Volunteers ride bikes to promote low-carbon travel in Guilin city, South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, Sept 21, 2013. With the year’s theme “Green Transport & Clean Air”, 153 Chinese cities have taken part in World Car Free Day campaign and people are encouraged to take public transport, ride bikes or walk. The campaign first originated in France in 1998 and initiatively launched in China in 2007, aiming to promote environment-friendly transport and ease the city’s traffic congestion. [Photo/Xinhua]
Residents were encouraged to get around by foot, bicycle or use public transportation, according to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport.
In order to make traveling across the city more convenient, all 17 subway lines will extend their service time for 30 minutes on Sunday.
Government officials and locals took part to support the city’s efforts in promoting green transportation and bringing about cleaner air.
However, as the first workday after the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival, and the day that cars are not required to be taken off the road based on their license plate numbers, Sunday’s traffic was unlikely to ease much, especially during peak times, the commission predicted.
Other cities took part as well.
In Zhengzhou, capital city of central China’s Henan Province, 90 percent of government cars were not allowed to be on the road.
Shanghai Public Transportation Card Company held a public transportation promotion and offered a lottery with 1 million yuan ($163,400) worth of gifts.
It is the seventh year that the country has observed Car Free Day