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Beijing Residents Rush to Register Cars to Meet Quota System

Bloomberg.com 01/03/2011 00:48
Beijing Residents Rush to Register Cars to Meet Quota System - China - Beijing - driving

Residents in Beijing, the city ranked as having the world’s worst traffic, rushed to apply for new vehicle licenses under a quota system started Jan. 1 as China’s government seeks to ease the congestion.

A total of 53,549 applications were made on the first day of the year, more than double the number of license plates to be available each month, the Beijing News reported yesterday.

The government said on Dec. 23 it would set a monthly quota of 20,000 new vehicle licenses in the Chinese capital.

China surpassed the U.S. last year to become the world’s biggest car market as tax cuts and government subsidies aimed at spurring auto sales fueled a surge in traffic. Beijing tied with Mexico as having the world’s worst traffic, according to a survey by International Business Machines Corp. last year.

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport opened a website to accept online applications from people wishing to buy a car. Those without Internet connections can register on sites starting tomorrow.

Non-transferrable license plates will be issued through a lottery system that runs on the 26th day of every month after government officials review applications on 25th, according to the measures.