BEIJING — Traffic congestion eased in Beijing in 2017, partly due to the increase in shared bike use, figures show.
A third-party evaluation found the number of medium or high congestion days, days with a traffic index above 6, reduced by 16 days in the capital last year compared with 2016. The average traffic flow speed rose by 10 percent, according to the city’s transport commission.
The traffic index ranges from 0 to 10, with the number increasing as congestion worsens. Medium congestion is a traffic index between 6 and 8, and the average index in Beijing was 5.6 in 2017.
More subway lines, bus lanes, and the emergence of shared bikes are among the reasons for the improved traffic.
The number of shared bikes has jumped to 2.2 million in Beijing, meaning one bike per 10 residents, the commission said in a statement.
On average, 4 million passenger trips are made using Mobike shared bicycles each day in Beijing, a spokesperson from the company said recently. About 50 percent of those trips are to or from subway stations.
More measures have been taken to encourage people to choose other transport options over vehicles, including the building and renovation of bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways.
Beijing currently has over 1,014 kilometers of paths specifically for bicycles and pedestrians. By 2020, that figure is expected to reach 3,200 kilometers.
A special bike path will be built for commuters between Huilongguan and Shangdi in northern Beijing. The project will be finished by September this year.