Monday, July 28, 2008

Final Countdown Beijing

As the government announces closures to industries in and around Beijing, closures to the airport, traffic restrictions, opening of Olympic traffic lanes and new subway lines, the highly anticipated Beijing Olympic Games are imminent. The government has commenced final steps to erase Beijing’s grey skies weeks before the Olympic Games begin.

New subway lines have opened

Half of Beijing’s vehicles will be taken off the roads as a system of odd and even registration numbers is implemented. This plan will continue for 2 months and include the exclusion of some 300,000 industrial trucks which have mainly operated at night. People violating the restrictions can rest assured the ever watchful traffic cameras will detect their illegal actions.

Special Olympic traffic lanes will operate until 25th September meaning 265km of roads will have lanes open only to certified Olympic vehicles. Such a strategy is aimed to ensure fast and smooth transfers between hotels, Olympic venues and the Athletes Village.

Two new subway lines are now operational. Line 10 running some 25km from the southeast to the northwest of the city and Line 8 the 5km Olympic spur line from Line 10 will do much to ease the traffic congestion on Beijing's roads. Line 10 is expected to move some 850,000 passengers each day during the Olympics, while Line 8 will carry about 220,000 passengers.

A third rail link running 28 km from Beijing International Airport to Dongzhimen in the city area is also operational. This link is expected to serve some 30,000 passengers each day.

Beijing Capital International Airport will be closed from 7.59pm until midnight on 8th August. Travelers should check their ticket and airline schedules to ensure they are not inconvenienced by this closure.

With these announcements and the recent opening ceremony rehearsal it seems Beijing is truly ready to stage a spectacular Olympic event.


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