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Beijing to use odd-even traffic ban during APEC

Xinhua, October 11, 2014 Adjust font size:

Beijing Municipality will launch an odd-even license plate system to ease traffic on roads during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting slated for November, transport authorities announced Thursday.

The traffic control system will allow cars to drive on alternating days based on odd or even license plate numbers from Nov. 3 to 12, aiming to decrease total traffic by 35 percent, said a statement issued by the municipal transport commission.

During this period, the city will increase the number of buses by 400, or 2 percent of total public transport capacity, to ensure public transit, said the statement.

Beijing Municipal Government also announced Thursday that the State Council has approved a six-day holiday from work from Nov. 7 to 12 for workers from government departments, institutions, and organizations in the city. However, they will be required to work Sunday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 15 instead. The holiday is another move to reduce the number of cars on the road. Companies and other organizations within the municipality will be allowed to make their own arrangements.

Zhuang Zhidong, deputy head with the municipal environmental protection bureau, said it is international practice for locals to enjoy holidays during APEC meetings, and it will also help reduce environmental pollution.

The APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting will be held in Beijing from Nov. 10 to 11. During the APEC leaders' week, China will host a series of meetings, including the final senior officials' meeting from Nov. 5 to 6, the 26th ministerial meeting from Nov. 7 to 8, the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting from Nov. 10 to 11, as well as the APEC business and leader spouses' events. APEC leaders' week is the biggest APEC event of the year.

Beijing previously imposed a traffic ban based on an odd-even license plate system during the 2008 Olympics, which took 45 percent of the city's cars off the roads and helped clear the skies.

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