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Central China City to Invest in Major Metro Expansion

Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, plans to spend total 300 billion yuan (US$40 billion) on its metro system, according to the city's Rail Transit Plan.

The plan says the metro length will extend to 530 km from the present 220 km, and from seven to 12 lines with 309 stations by 2015.

Li Xiaohua, a city government official, said 66 percent of the city's 8.7 million people could find a metro station within 600 meters.

"By metro, a person at any part of Wuhan can reach the city center within 30 minutes," said Li.

Wuhan, known as "a thoroughfare to nine provinces", has been faced with escalating threats of traffic jams and noise, which the city government is seeking to resolve with the metro expansion.

The new plan gives the cost per kilometer of metro line at about 500 million yuan (US$66.7 million). Three metro lines are already under construction.

(Xinhua News Agency March 3, 2008)

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