Beijing adds subway trains to reduce passenger congestion amid epidemic

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-23 14:49:18|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Beijing Subway will pilot adding trains and reducing intervals during workday rush hours to make trains less crowded as the city speeds up work resumption amid the epidemic.

The metro operator said such "extraordinary" measures were part of a new operation scheme that will be first piloted on the Changping and Batong lines starting on Tuesday.

The scheme will reduce the time trains stop at each station and the minimum intervals between two running trains while increasing the number of trains in service during the morning and evening rush hours.

Operators will also strengthen the real-time monitoring of passenger flows and limit the number of people in stations along the two lines.

The new measures are expected to reduce the full occupancy rates by 45 percent and 30 percent on the Changping and Batong lines, respectively, according to Beijing Subway.

Beijing experienced a severe gridlock on Monday morning as many commuters shunned the usually crowded subways out of infection concerns and drove their own cars.

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport said the traffic index reached 8, with 10 being the most congested, on Monday morning, bringing down the city's average driving speed to 20 km per hour.

"Driving is a safer option," said Beijing resident Hu Zhe, who was caught in the gridlock. "The familiar sight of traffic congestion is disturbing, but it also makes me feel like the city is returning to normal."