Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Even Odder: 68.9% support continuation of even-odd rule

Summary of a report (Chinese) by Zhu Kaiyun in The Beijing News.

Beijing residents are split over whether or not to continue with the odd-even number plate rule after the Olympic Games. Research carried out by Beijing Sunny-wise Consulting on behalf of The Beijing News on over 5000 Beijing Residents showed a 68.9% rate of support for the policy among respondents, with 19% percent in opposition and 12.1% not minding either way.

Since the policy was put into effect, 57.2% of respondents expressed that with less congestion, getting around is easier; 53.2% believed that air quality has improved; 44% thought that the amount of cars on the roads has decreased. At the same time, 18.6% believed that during the restrictions the amount of people on public buses has increased substantially, causing inconvenience.

75% of respondents claimed that their chosen method of transport is either public buses or subway, for 25.5% it is taxis, for 13.3% bicycles, for 8.5% travelling to work by car with a friend is the preferred option, while for 4.9% it is easiest to buy another car to use on alternate days.

The research suggests the following reasons for opposition: the odd-even rule reduces the value of owning a private car and is not fair on car owners (an opinion held by 69.8%); excessive crowding on buses and the subway (43.8%); increase in the time and cost of getting to work (37.9%).

Of those asked “If the restrictions are kept, how would you plan to get about in the future?”, 66.3% said they would opt for public transport, 18% would buy a second car, 16.5% would ride a bicycle, and nearly a tenth (9.9%) plan to try and keep using their car to get to work.

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