Beijing has announced plans for dedicated bus lanes on the Fourth Ring Road to improve the efficiency of public transportation, announced Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport on their official website Tuesday.
Wang Zhaorong, vice director of the commission, announced that transport authorities were considering the bus lanes as part of an overhaul of the city's public transportation at a meeting Tuesday with Dongcheng and Fengtai transport authorities, according to the website.
Zhang Yinlong, a publicity employee from Beijing Bus Corporation said they were not yet aware of any specifics about plans for bus lanes on the city's ring roads.
"It seems it's just an idea for now, but once there is detailed action on the project, we'll make plans and update the public," said Zhang, "it could be great news considering the large numbers of commuters traveling along the ring roads."
There are 201 bus routes using the Third Ring Road, transporting 5.85 million passengers daily, about 31 percent of the total number. The Fourth Ring Road takes about 2.63 million of the city's passengers, according to statistics from transport authorities, Beijing Star Daily reported yesterday.
Proposals for bus lanes along the Third Ring Road were made in 2010, but so far, only two rough plans have been revealed. Either one of the three existing lanes would be allotted solely for buses, or an extra lane would be added to the roads, the Beijing Daily reported last August.
"It's all about rearranging the road resources to encourage passengers to choose public transportation more often," said Xu Kangming, a transportation expert and municipal government advisor.
"But it will take a while to take effect, and might lead to more congestion, especially for narrow sections on the Third Ring Road which could be dangerous," said Xu.
Local drivers do not think the plan would be very practical.
"Cutting one lane for the buses will bring more pressure at those congested bridges, and seems a waste of limited road resources," said Liu Yongsheng, a local taxi driver.