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60% Favor to Keep Partial Vehicle Ban

A new survey shows that over 96 percent of people think the alternate driving days are useful in easing air pollution, and over 60 percent think the policy should remain in place after the Olympics.

Beijing Social Facts & Public Opinion Survey Center surveyed 3,100 Beijing citizens, and found that about 60 percent chose public transportation like buses and the metro, about 24 percent prefer bicycles, and another 7 percent travel on foot.

Only 1.2 percent of people polled resort to carpooling since the alternating odd-even license plate policy was implemented, China News Service reports.

The alternate driving day system has been in operation for one week. Some say it eases the traffic congestion, only to put heavy pressure on the public transportation system. Others report that it is more difficult to find an open taxi. Only 37 percent of the commuters surveyed say they are minimally affected by the traffic ban.

Many commuters expressed understanding and tolerance with the policy. About 96 percent of people praised its effectiveness in improving air quality and reducing pollution, and said it also helps ease traffic pressure.

At the same time, some people do not look highly upon the policy, claiming it does not fundamentally solve the traffic problem. Up to 28 percent regard it as a violation of car owners' rights.

As for whether or not the policy should remain in place after the Olympics, 60 percent nod yes, while 16 percent object. About 20 percent are undecided on the issue.

The paper says, whatever methods are taken to improve Beijing traffic conditions, many expect it will make public transportation more comfortable and convenient.

( July 30, 2008)

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