Beijing to spend $1.6 bn on subsidising public transport

January 14th, 2009 - 11:11 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Jan 14 (Xinhua) Eleven billion yuan ($1.6 billion) would be spent on public transport subsidies this year in Beijing to ensure continued low prices for commuters, an official said.Yang Xiaochao, director of the municipal finance bureau, said the figure was up 14 percent from last year.

The funds would be primarily used to reduce subway and bus fares, he was quoted Tuesday by the Beijing Morning Post as saying.

Yang promised the low pricing policy for mass transit would remain unchanged this year.

Beijing, a city with a population of 17 million, has been trying to boost public transportation to ease traffic pressure and improve air quality.

The city has adopted measures including improving public transport structure, slashing bus fares by 60 percent since the beginning of 2007 and subway fares by 30 percent since October 2007.

Its public transport system is expected to carry some 28 million commuters daily by 2012.

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