Working hours changed for better, cleaner traffic

2008-07-14 03:16:47 GMT       2008-07-14 11:16:47 (Beijing Time)       China Daily

The working hours in Beijing will change from July 20 for the next two months to ease traffic pressure on the roads in the run up to and during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Public institutions will open an hour later, at 9:30 am, and close at 5:30 pm, while working hours for companies will be between 9 am and 5 pm, says a Beijing municipal government notice, released on Saturday.

Shopping malls will open at 10 am and close at 10 pm or even later.

Schools, administrative bodies and essential service sectors are exempt from the changes.

The Beijing government encourages people to work online from home, if possible, to avoid commuting and adapt to flexible working hours for government bodies and companies.

The change, first suggested by Liu Guoxiang, a deputy to Beijing municipal people's congress, last year, is aimed at reducing traffic congestion and pollution in the capital.

Home to more than 3 million vehicles, Beijing has urged people to use more public transport during the Olympics.

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