Cap­i­tal to cut num­ber of li­cense plates

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By DUJUAN dujuan@chi­

Bei­jing is to slash the num­ber of li­cense plates it hands out for new cars by one-third in an ef­fort to ease traf­fic con­ges­tion and pol­lu­tion.

The an­nounce­ment came as it emerged that peo­ple are buy­ing strug­gling small busi­nesses that hold ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tions to avoid hav­ing to en­ter the cap­i­tal’s li­cense plate lot­tery.

Com­pa­nies and in­di­vid­u­als must take part in a monthly draw to reg­is­ter a new ve­hi­cle, with a to­tal of 150,000 plates up for grabs ev­ery year — 90,000 for gas-pow­ered ve­hi­cles and 60,000 for new-en­ergy ve­hi­cles.

How­ever, from 2018, only 100,000 will be avail­able per year, Zhou Zhengyu, di­rec­tor of the city’s trans­port com­mis­sion, said on Tues­day.

The aim is to limit the num­ber of cars on the cap­i­tal’s roads to 6.3 mil­lion by 2020, Zhou said at the Global Sus­tain­able In­fra­struc­ture and Con­nec­tiv­ity Sum­mit in Bei­jing. At the end of last year, the num­ber stood at 5.62 mil­lion.

Zhou said the city has con­tin­ued to see an in­crease in ve­hi­cles, de­spite gov­ern­ment mea­sures such as the monthly lot­tery, which was in­tro­duced in 2011.

“The way to solve traf­fic con­ges­tion will grad­u­ally shift from ad­min­is­tra­tive reg­u­la­tions into eco­nomic means and tech­no­log­i­cal pro­cesses,” he said.

Bill Law, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of Volvo Con­struc­tion Equip­ment, said: “It’s not just the gov­ern­ment’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to deal with traf­fic con­ges­tion, but also that of re­search in­sti­tu­tions, com­pa­nies and cit­i­zens.

“We need to find a com­mon so­lu­tion for traf­fic prob­lems. It not only hap­pens in Bei­jing, but also in many cities in other parts of the world,” he said.

At the lat­est lot­tery, held on Tues­day, just one in ev­ery 754 en­trants re­ceived a plate.

Fac­ing the slim hope of get­ting a li­cense, some peo­ple have bought com­pa­nies that own car plates.

An in­ter­me­di­ary for an agency that helps ar­range such deals, who did not want to be iden­ti­fied, said some­one could buy a com­pany hold­ing a li­cense plate for 180,000 yuan ($27,700).

How­ever, de­spite own­ing the right to use a car, own­ing a com­pany will bring the driver much more com­plex prob­lems, in­clud­ing pos­si­ble debts, and la­bor and le­gal dis­putes.

Zhou Zhengyu, di­rec­tor of the Bei­jing Trans­port Com­mis­sion

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