Friday, July 28, 2017

Transportation in Beijing

Beijing has a wide variety of transportation options, ranging from a multitude of rental bicycles, to small cars perfect for narrow hutong streets, to modern express trains across the city and country.  I marvel at a few of them.

First, the rental bicycles are everywhere in the city and used by, it appears, just about everyone. Rent the bike either at a stand or with your phone using the code on the bicycle and drop it wherever you end up.  Someone else will, no doubt, rent it from there.  And, a great price:  free for the first hour, 1 RMB ($0.15 USD) per hour after that.  It is estimated that there are 9 million bicycles in Beijing.

Rental bicycles everywhere

Bicycles are especially clustered outside metro stations, office buildings, and the Airport Express station.  Speaking of which, the Airport Express is fast, efficient, inexpensive (25 RMB or $3.70 USD), and a great way to get into town.

Airport Express train rides above the traffic

In the city, the Airport Express stops at two Metro stations and I can get anywhere in Beijing on the Metro.  With 19 lines and 345 stations, it also is extensive, efficient, and inexpensive (most trips are between $0.45 and $1.00, based on distance).  However, the subway is busy, providing about 10 million trips per day and traveling outside the rush hours does help to make for a less-packed journey.

Bejing Metro routes

Walking the streets, I really enjoy looking at the small cars that seem to fit perfectly down the narrow streets (and on larger streets also).

 Assorted small vehicles, 3-wheel and 4-wheel

Modern police car

And, of course, a few traditional modes of transportation.

 Traditional transportation (often for tourist)

All the transportation options seem to cooperate on the streets and show their patience with the well-know bad traffic in the city (bicycles are really good to get through it).

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