Friday, 29th November 2013 GIZ organised an international exchange workshop between Beijing’s Transport Authorities and international experts on an intended white paper “Opportunities and Challenges for Beijing Transport Development”.
The new white paper, issued by Beijing Municipal Committee of Transport (BMCT) is planned to cover the new challenges emerging from the continuous growth of Beijing and the consequently increasing travel demand. During the meeting BTRC gave a presentation about the main challenges addressed in the white paper.
The first topic addressed was the road usage rate. Zhou Ling of BTRCs Strategy Department emphasised that Beijing has not only a higher vehicle ownership in its central areas than most other cities worldwide, but also twice as much car kilometres travelled than for example Tokyo. Most striking, 44% of the trips are below 5 kilometres and could therefore be easily replaced by cycling or public transport. That could also relief the cities difficult parking situation. In Beijing, currently parking takes more space per capita (30-40m²) than the average living space per capita (28m²). The white paper displays Beijing’s means to achieve an urban and economic development by a further development and integration of public transport. A better interlinking of transport modes and stations as well as an acceleration and addition to capacity of public transport is addressed in the policy paper.
After the subway network was increased rapidly since 2000 (15 of the 17 lines in operation are built since then), financing the maintenance of the new network becomes equally important as how to pay for the continuing extension of the network. Beijing is taking examples like Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shenzhen for their future financing mechanisms. They use land value increases caused by the new metro lines to refinance the system. Especially Hong Kong’s operator MTR is well known to build up shopping malls on metro stations and financing the full system out of the profits. Finally the white paper addresses issues of driving behaviour and safety. One proposed approach to tackle the subject is encouraging “grass-root stakeholders to participate in transport affairs management”.
The experts invited by GIZ were able to supplement these ideas with experience from Europe. With an overview on Berlins integrated transport planning strategy resulting in the integrated urban transport plan SteP and an in-sight in Frankfurt’s innovative public transport financing and tendering body traffiQ very different approaches were presented. They were completed by an introduction on non-motorized transport modes and a case study on Zurich. The one day event ended with a free discussion between experts, BRTC and BMTC as well as GIZ on possible options for the strategies in the white paper.