Beijing is getting serious about clean air during the Olympics. The city has removed one half of all government vehicles from the streets of Beijing. The move eases congestion, reduces emissions and saves resources for a greener Olympics, which start 8-8-08. “The government wants to take the lead in guaranteeing smooth transport during the Games,” said a transport official.
The move is more aggressive than an initial plan to ban just 30% of all government cars starting on July 1st. Happy, of course, are the Beijing cabbies. Business is good and traffic is far less congested as they haul around their fares. Beginning on July 20th, Beijing will ban 70% of all government vehicles until September 20th. Altogether, some 210,000 vehicles are expected to be sitting in garages. That number is in addition to the half of 3.3 million cars that will be parked on 0dd-even days. The 12 million commuters in the city can expect some 4 million more to crowd onto buses and other public service vehicles. To meet this demand, some 2000 buses and three new metro lines will be added or extend their operating hours. A 4-day trial period last year showed that it works.
Now, if the city really wanted to save money and do something about hot air, they would try to reduce the number of people that create congestion in the government bureaucracy by 70%, too. And, if that works, help us out here in the U.S. please.