Preparing for Olympics, Beijing takes government cars off roads
In preparation for hosting the Olympics and Paralympics from Aug. 8 to Sept. 17, Beijing has officially kicked off its plan to clear the air by keeping cars parked. Starting Monday, half of Beijing’s 22,800 government vehicles will stay off the roads until July 19. From July 20 to Sept. 20, 70 percent of government vehicles will be idled, and non-governmental vehicle owners will only be allowed to drive every other day. Beginning July 1, heavily polluting industrial trucks will be rerouted around the city. “Thanks to the bans, vehicle emissions during the Olympic Games are expected to drop by 63 percent,” says Du Shaozhong of Beijing’s Environmental Protection Bureau. The city government has also boosted gas prices by 18 percent, while dropping public transportation costs and opening several new subway lines.