Sub­way links to Tongzhou on track

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By DU JUAN and LIANG SHUANG

Con­struc­tion will be­gin next year on two Beijing sub­way pro­jects to con­nect the south­east­ern Tongzhou dis­trict with down­town, trans­port of­fi­cials have said.

The Ba­tong Line, in ser­vice since 2003, will be ex­tended east by two sta­tions to reach the site of the planned Univer­sal Stu­dio Park as well as merged with Line 1, re­mov­ing the need to trans­fer. The work is sched­uled for com­ple­tion in 2019. A new route, the Pinggu Line, will also be built in the north­ern part of Tongzhou. When it opens, in 2020, it will carry pas­sen­gers north­east­ward to Pinggu dis­trict.

Two other sub­way lines be­tween the city cen­ter and Tongzhou, an east­bound ex­ten­sion of Line 7 and the new Line 17, are al­ready un­der con­struc­tion, ac­cord­ing to Beijing’s city trans­port com­mis­sion.

The author­ity said it plans to con­struct more lines in the sub­urb, in­clud­ing north-south routes, with trans­fer dis­tances be­tween sta­tions and other pub­lic trans­porta­tion links re­duced to about 100 me­ters.

Late last month, the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion, the na­tion’s eco­nomic plan­ner, ap­proved a pro­posed in­ter­city rail net­work link­ing Beijing, Tian­jin and He­bei prov­ince. It in­cludes a new sta­tion in cen­tral Tongzhou that will form part of the planned Beijing-Tang­shan link.

Eigh­teen trans­port in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects will also get un­der­way by the end of next year, in­clud­ing ex­ten­sions of two high­ways that cur­rently end at the city out­skirts. Zhou Yang, head of Beijing-Tian­jin-He­bei in­te­gra­tion at the city’s trans­port com­mis­sion, told Beijing Daily that the pro­jects in­clude the up­grade or con­struc­tion of trunk roads de­signed to “ease con­ges­tion hot spots”.

“When the spots are cleared, we’ ll be set for build­ing new ex­press­ways,” he added.

In Septem­ber trans­port ex­perts from the United States, Bri­tain, France and Ger­many were in­vited to con­sult on plans for de­vel­op­ing Tongzhou. They backed the idea of im­prov­ing sub­way ser­vices and sug­gested build­ing bike lanes along the dis­trict’s wa­ter­ways.

ZHANG CHENLING / XIN­HUA

The cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict of Tongzhou dis­trict is un­der con­struc­tion.

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