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Beijing introduces cap on new car registration

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The Beijing News, December 24, 2010

To alleviate urban traffic congestion, Beijing started a cap-and-lottery issuance system intended to curb automobile growth.

According to the new policy, starting on December 24th, Beijing will issue 240,000 new car license plates until the end of 2011. The plates will be allocated by a lottery system. Eligible applicants include Beijing residents, non-Beijing residents who have lived here for at least five year and paid tax, foreigners and companies. However, car owners are banned from applying for another license unless they sell or scrap their old vehicles.

Prior to announcement of the policy, Beijing had seen an eruption in car sales due to buyers' fear that they might not be able to get a license. Yesterday, the last day before the limit taking effect, over 9,000 units of vehicles were sold in Beijing, making the total number of automobiles exceed 4.8 million.

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Comments on Beijing introduces cap on new car registration

Pretty awesome. Other countries could really stand to match this level of commitment to reducing emissions.

Ironically, it's kind of a pain for Beijingers since, ahem, the Subway system is 马马虎虎 , and the city is so incredibly huge that you almost need a car to go anywhere.

This is something they should have brought in years ago. Now it's too little too late. Beijing is a congested mess.

Michael "Other countries could really stand to match this level of commitment to reducing emissions."

This is mainly intended to reduce Beijing's utterly ridiculous traffic - the improvement in Beijing's utterly ridiculous air quality will be a bonus. Beijing municipal policy does not represent national policy; it is I think the only city in China to have introduced such measures - apart from shanghai which seems always to have controlled its traffic (thank god) - and I also think it's too little too late. Other capitals like Athens and London both introduced similar sorts of measures (stricter measures in some ways) ages ago. You're right that the planners totally screwed up the layout of Beijing and it is far too centered on car-use.

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