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Olympic Travel Traffic

Beijing City Center Transportation

As the capital of the People's Republic of China, Beijing is the center of the nation's politics, culture and international exchanges and a modem metropolis full of vitality, hosting more travelers than any other city in China, and for good reason, because no other city offers so many marvels, ancient and modern. No city is more important in recent Chinese history--and more of that history is on display here than anywhere else.

 

By bus

Beijing busThe Beijing Public Transportation Corporation is the city's largest bus service provider. Routes 1 to 199 are regular city buses, and cost a flat fare of Y1. Routes 201 through 212 only run at night, costing Y2. Routes numbered 300 or higher are suburban, and fares depend on how far you're going -- have your destination written in Chinese, as you have to tell the conductor so they can calculate your fare. Newer, air-conditioned buses have an 800 route number.They also run more expensive tourist buses going to sights in and around the city.
 
By Subway

With street-level traffic getting more crazed by the minute, Beijing's quick and efficient subway system is an excellent way to get about town. After operating for years with only two lines, the network is growing exponentially -- seven new lines are under construction, and a couple more are being planned.
At this writing, there are four lines open. Line 1 (red) runs east-west under Chang'an Jie, crossing through the heart of the city. The circle line, or Line 2 (blue), runs roughly under the Second Ring Road. There are interchange stations between lines 1 and 2 at Fuxingmen and Jianguomen. The two remaining lines are mainly used by commuters and are less useful for sightseeing. The Batong Line extends Line 1 eastward, whereas Line 13 loops north off Line 2. The first north-south line, Line 5, is due to open in mid-2007, and two other lines are scheduled to open in time for the 2008 Olympics.
Subway stations are marked by blue signs with a "D" (for di tie, or subway) in a circle. Signs are not always obvious, so be prepared to hunt around for entrances or ask directions; Di tie zhan zai nar? (Where's the subway station?) is a useful phrase to remember.
Stations are usually clean and safe, as are trains. Navigating the subway is very straightforward: station names are clearly displayed in Chinese and pinyin, and there are maps in each station. Once on board, each stop is clearly announced on a loudspeaker.

Beijing 2008 will have 5 new metro lines, with two of them serving the Olympic Green. Beijing currently has 2 metro lines; this will be tripled for the 2008 Games. Of 5 new routes, two of them (Olympic line / LINE 10 and North/South LINE 5) will serve the Beijing Olympic Green.

Beijing Metro Map
Beijing Metro Map
Click it to large
 
By Taxi

Taxis are plentiful, easy to spot, and by far the most comfortable way to get around Beijing, though increasing traffic means they're not always the fastest. There's a flagfall of Y10 for the first 4 km (2½ mi), then Y2 per kilometer thereafter. After 11 PM flagfall goes up to Y11, and there's a 20% surcharge per kilometer.

Drivers usually know the terrain well, but most don't speak English; having your destination written in Chinese is a good idea. (Keep a card with the name of your hotel on it for the return trip.) Hotel doormen can also help you tell the driver where you're going. It's a good idea to study a map and have some idea where you are, as some drivers will take you for a ride -- a much longer one -- if they think they can get away with it.