Thu, February 16, 2012
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Panic as passengers fight to climb in bus windows

2012-02-16 06:46:52 GMT2012-02-16 14:46:52(Beijing Time)  Global Times

A bus company has defended chaotic scenes at a Guomao bus terminal as passengers fought to board a delayed bus through its windows Monday evening. 

Beijing Public Transportation Holdings explained the chaos was caused by unusual traffic congestion.

The pictures were taken at Langjiayuan, the terminus of the No.815 bus at 5:30 pm Monday, according to a report in the Legal Mirror Tuesday. Passengers climbed on the tires to get through the windows, after they failed to get close to the bus door among the crowds. The packed bus managed to depart 15 minutes later.

The 815 bus line connects Zhugedian in Yanjiao, Hebei Province and Langjiangyuan in Chaoyang district.

"The crowds were stranded at the bus stop as buses failed to arrive on time due to terrible traffic congestion caused by  temporary traffic control measures near Guomao," said Zhang Yinlong, publicity officer from the bus company. 

"Such chaos would not occur in ordinary situations," Zhang noted.

Xu Kangming, a transportation expert and municipal government advisor yesterday said that "it is inevitable that passengers may get stranded due to congestion, but it would be better if the government prepares extra buses on stand by in busy regions to ensure order."

Some transport experts have raised the question of whether Beijing buses are operating while overloaded.  

According to the 1987 version of the technology regulations on vehicle safety, the number of people permitted per square meter on a bus is five; however it rose to eight passengers in 1997.

However, Xu explained that "eight is just the evaluated number under which the bus is able to work, and it doesn't reflect the reality."

"For Beijing, the ideal number would be five or six," Xu noted. 

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