Beijing license plate lottery to get harder

Source:Global Times Published: 2013-9-3 23:08:01

The Beijing transportation department is planning to further cut the number of license plates that will be issued in 2014, in order to restrict the number of vehicles on the capital's streets to under 6 million by 2017.

The full scheme will be announced in late November, and the new policy will take effect starting from 2014, according to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport.

Controlling the number of cars is one aspect of measures planned by the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, which aim to limit air pollution in Beijing between 2013 and 2017. The measures pledge to reduce the density of PM2.5 particles (airborne particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter) by at least 25 percent by 2017.

"It is good for the city's transportation networks to set a goal to cap the number of vehicles. The method will surely be effective in reducing air pollution," Xu Kangming, an expert on transportation, told the Global Times.

Guo Jifu, the head of Beijing Transportation Research Center, told the Global Times that because vehicle emissions are a major source of pollution in Beijing, it is inevitable that there will be limits on the number of motor vehicles.

"Multiple methods should also be taken, such as controlling the population, developing bus lanes, and improving transportation networks. Controlling pollution needs effort from all of society," Guo added.

Beijing adopted a license plate lottery system in January 2011, in a bid to curb the rapid growth in the number of vehicles.

Currently, around 240,000 license plates are allocated every year.

The license plate lottery system appears to have been effective to some extent.

The number of vehicles in the city has grown from 4.8 million to about 5.3 million over the past two and a half years - this rate was slower than the growth between 2009 and 2010, when it increased 790,000 from 4.01 million, according to statistics reported in the Beijing Times, which did not cite the source.

The Beijing Times also said that insiders claim the quota may have to be decreased to 12,000 per month as according to their plan, Beijing will need to limit the number of vehicles to no more than 6 million in the next four years.

According to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport, 1.55 million people have applied for a license plate and are currently waiting to receive one.

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