Sunday, April 01, 2007

Transport in Beijing China

Beijing BusTransport
Getting around Beijing presents many issues like adventure, challenge, danger, time, cost, convenience and comfort.
Photographer: Russell Uebergang

Each day approximately 1000 new cars enter the roads and add to the challenge of making a quick trip around town.

Of course the extra cars are also adding more choking gases to the frequently gray, polluted skies of Beijing. Expect travel times around Beijing to average 12km/h if using roads. One of the bonuses of this speed is only minor accidents occur in most instances and impulsive drivers are kept more in check.

Beijing TaxiTaxis
Photographer: Russell Uebergang

Taxis are comparatively cheap. Be sure the driver starts the metre (rarely a problem!) and remember that drivers do not expect a tip. Little English is spoken by taxi drivers so try to have the destination printed in Chinese characters to prevent misunderstandings.
You may get away with saying the address in Chinese, if you know it, however, many drivers do not appear to think laterally with foreigners using Chinese, so your great language skills may fall on deaf ears. Taxi cars range form aging red Citroens to more spacious and salubrious Hyundais.
Fares
a) Flagfall 10rmb for the first 3km, then 1.6rmb/km
b) Distances more than 15km are charged at 1.5 times normal rate
c) Night rate of 11rmb begins after 11pm with an extra 3rmb/km after the first 3km.

Buses

Bus transport is constantly improving. At the same time there are plenty of tired and crowded buses plying the roads.
Buses numbered 1 to 100 operate within the 3rd ring road.
200-212 offer only night time travel
300’s travel through the suburbs
400’s travel from downtown out to the suburbs
600’s – 700’s travel through residential areas
900’s travel long distances within Beijing province.

Each bus stop displays bus numbers, route stops, direction of travel and first and last times of travel.
See www.bjbus.com/english/default.htm for bus routes and more details.
Bus fares start from a hefty 1rmb and increase for longer trips. Pay by cash or transport smartcard.

Subways

Subway train services begin at 5am for the metro and 6am for light rail services. Evening services finish at 10.30pm and 11pm respectively. Subway travel is cheap, reliable, fast and often crowded. Fares range from 2 - 5rmb.
Motorbikes
Whether they have 2 or 3 wheels, you must have a Chinese E-class license to legally ride a motorbike, scooter or moped over 50cc. Sidecar motorbikes require a D-class license.
Electric bikes
If you choose to ride one of these less energy draining bicycles be sure that you have a 10rmb license plate on the bike.


Beijing cyclistBicycles

Great for cycling around old Beijing on a clear day. An old favourite among the locals and some foreigners is the 'Flying Pigeon' bicycle. Be sure to carry a good lock as theft is a common problem with bicycles.
Parking in designated areas with an attendant will also help prevent theft.
Rental starts at 20rmb to 120rmb per day.
Try Shuangren Yizhan rental shops from 6am to 11pm at Qianhai Nanyan, near Han Cang, Xicheng District, or Houhai Nanyan, near the amusement park, Xicheng District.

Bicycle Kingdom, North garden office B402-5, Oriental Plaza, Wangfujing, Dongcheng District (Tel: 8549451) www.bicyclekingdom.com

Photographer: Russell Uebergang


Beijing Snow

'Snowed in'
Photographer: Russell Uebergang


Delivering winter coal- Beijing

'Delivering winter coal- Beijing'
Photographer: Russell Uebergang


Tricycles

'Tricycles - used for delivering goods or people'
Photographer: Russell Uebergang


Beijing Rickshaw

'Rickshaw tour?'
Photographer: Russell Uebergang


Books on China