LHASA, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- The number of vehicles in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has rocketed up 73.1 percent over the past five years to 457,000, regional traffic authorities said.
Since late 2012, the number of drivers has also increased by 85.5 percent to nearly 420,000, according to figures released Friday by the region's transport bureau.
"We used to consider the number of cattle and sheep as a parameter for a family's economic condition. Now the brand of family car has become a new criteria," said Cering Puncog, a herder in Nagqu County, who has just bought a sport utility vehicle, his third in the past seven years.
More roads have been built in recent years in the region, which has partly contributed to the rising numbers of cars and drivers.
The region now has 613 kilometers of highways and expressways, including the newly built road connecting Lhasa, the regional capital, and Nyingchi.