10 new Olympic bus routes open for traffic in Beijing

2008-07-20 10:07:56 GMT       2008-07-20 18:07:56 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

Photo taken on July 20, 2008 shows a traffic sign designed for one of ten newly opened Olympic Bus Lines in Beijing, China. The ten Olympic bus routes started to operate on Sunday to cope with the expected increase of passengers to Beijing's major sports venues. Another 24 special bus routes for the Olympics will be opened for traffic on Aug. 9. (Xinhua Photo)

Photo taken on July 20, 2008 shows a bus station on one of the 10 new Olympic bus routes at Olympic Park in Beijing, China. (Xinhua Photo)

BEIJING, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Operations started on 10 Olympic bus routes on Sunday to carry the expected increase in passengers to Beijing's major sports venues.

The routes will make up for the relative shortage of public transport around Olympic venues, said Yao Zhenping, assistant to the general manager of the Beijing Public Transport Holdings Group.

Another 24 special bus routes for the Olympics will be opened for traffic on Aug. 9, he said.

The 34 routes will operate until Sept. 20, with some running around the clock.

Yao said the newly-opened routes would help transport some 500,000 passenger daily.

"With the new routes, passenger trips to the Olympic venues are becoming much easier now," said Ren Jun, a volunteer driver for the Olympic Line 1.

Beijing's 350 existing routes are to run later, said Zhou Zhengyu, deputy head of the Beijing Municipal Committee of Communications.

The city's public transport system will be able to move 21.1 million passengers daily during the Olympics and Paralymics, according to Zhou.

Beijing has planned to add 3,000 buses to its roads in the month up to Aug. 8, when the Olympics kicks off, raising the daily handling capacity to 15 million passengers from 12.5 million.

The opening of several new metro lines and more than 60,000 cabs will also help to meet the increasing transport demand from spectators, athletes, reporters and travelers, he said.

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