Victor. F. S. Sit
Post-1949 development of urban transport in Beijing, the national capital of the People’s Republic of China, has been for a long time shaped by the ideology of the Chinese communists, in a setting of rapid urban growth and industrialization with general neglect of the ‘consumption’ needs of the urban populace. The Old City of feudal Beijing which the municipality inherited in 1949 and the need to preserve its pre-industrial street pattern, set by the city wall and the former Imperial Court (the Forbidden City), for historical and cultural reasons added another interesting and almost insurmountable constraint to the city’s urban transport development. This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the situation and development of urban transport in the city from 1949 to 1992, outlining its major characteristics and problems. The effects of the new Open Door and modernization policies since 1978 and their impact on a new approach emphasizing market forces are evaluated. Wherever feasible, comparative figures and materials from the western and Third World city are used to provide better appreciation of Beijing’s situation. The experience of the new policy of Market Socialism that started in 1978 provides valuable evidence for other large Third World cities. Copyright 0 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd
版权所有：1996 Elsevier Science Ltd
关键词：城市交通 北京 社会主义 第三世界 市场社会主义
Urban transport issues in a Third World and socialist setting
Transport is one of the major problems in Third World cities. It is a reflection of the combined effects of low levels of economic development, poor land use planning, inadequate infrastructure and poor urban management. Although many municipal governments devote an estimated 15-25% of their total annual budget for solving transport problems, the current urban transport problems in Third World cities generally seem to have got worse (Khisty, 1993). The low income of the urban poor naturally resulted in a high proportion of trips being made on foot and by bicycle. A survey of the situation in Delhi in 1957 indicates that, of the total passenger trips in the city (excluding those on foot), 36% were made using bicycles, 15.9% by other non-motorized means, 22.3% by bus and only 10.1% by private car (Breese, 1966). More recent figures for the entire Third World by the World Bank (1986), show that, whereas 600 million person-trips a day are made by city buses and l/4 billion by about 50 million automobiles, those made by about l/2 billion bicycles are estimated to be ‘several billion’ trips and that daily pedestrian trips exceed 10 billion. Thus, the majority of the urban population in the Third World mainly use non-motorized modes of transport.
Khisty (1993) observed that, although most developing countries do not have a stated policy on passenger mobility, they tend to focus their attention and resources on freight traffic in order to fulfill output targets set by their 5-year economic plans. This has led to further deterioration of the supply-demand ratio for modern passenger transport. Within the already restricted sphere of government action on passenger transport, Khisty (1993, p 45) further observes that Third World governments have not paid much attention to non-motorized modes:
Most ironically, developing countries seem to focus on encouraging motorization and appear to be indifferent or even opposed to low-cost, non-motorized modes, despite the vital role they play in the local economies and the mobility and accessibility they provide for low-income inhabitants.
According to a World Bank study (1991) in the 1980s countries in Asia, except China, had experienced a significant reduction in the number and use of non- motorized vehicles due to a motorization trend and emphasis on a high technology and an ‘incorporation’ approach. There are, however, dissenting views that emphasis on high technology options, such as metros, freeways and interchanges, and increasing public ownership and incorporation of public modes of transport like buses and trams would only incur more inefficiency and public subsidy, whereas the mobility and accessibility of the urban population would not be improved (Rimmer, 1986). Some call for the ‘informal sector’ approach which favors small operators characterized by low-cost, simple technology, private and small scale ownership, as well as flexibility and efficient. They believe that increasing ‘incorporation’ of public transport, particularly the increasing public ownership of bus and railway services, cannot solve urban transport problems in Third World cities, because government-owned undertakings are plagued with problems such as unwillingness to increase fares to compensate for rising operating costs, overstaffing, general management weaknesses and inadequacies of the regulatory authorities (Grava, 1978, 1980; Emmerij, 1974; Rimmer, 1980; Kirby, 1979; Britton, 1983; World Bank, 1975, p 42). In spite of this, the movement toward high technology and incorporation became obvious by the end of the 1970s when many Third World cities started planning or building urban mass transits (Coventry and Richards, 1982). This ‘railway cult’ has continued to the present despite its often low level of cost-effectiveness, particularly for the poorer cities and increased doubts about the high-tech and incorporation approach to solving Third World urban transport problems. Fouracre et aE (1990) when reviewing the metro systems in 13 Third World cities (which include Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul and Pusan which should be classified as middle- to high- income cities), found that the total cost per passenger per km has been much higher in the poorer cities, e.g. 4.7 US cents for Calcutta and 6.4 US cents for Rio de Janeiro than in the richer cities, e.g. 3.3 US cents for Hong Kong. Of the eight poorer cities, seven registered overall losses on their metro systems (i.e. fare income was less than operating cost and depreciation). They conclude that the successful systems all have very high peak flows of close to 15 000 passengers per hour at the busiest section of the traffic corridor. Besides, these cities have an average annual city income of above US$1800/per person (1987 figure) and are found in countries with a national average annual income of at least US$l000/per person. Against such a background, non-motorized vehicles still have a key role to play in many Third World cities, although they are still yet not widely accepted into these cities’ transport systems for planning and management purposes (Dimitriou, 1993).
根据世界银行20世纪80年代做的一项研究（1991），由于机动化趋势、对高科技的强调和“国有制”政策，亚洲国家（除中国以外）都经历了非机动车的数量和使用大幅减少。然而，也存在一些反对的观点，他们强调高科技手段，例如地铁、高速公路和换乘系统，以及日益增长的公交、电车等公共交通方式的公有化和国有制只会导致更低的效率和更高的政府补助，而城市人口的机动性和可达性并不能得到改善（Rimmer，1986）。一些人提倡“非正式部门”方法，鼓励发展低成本、技术简单、私人拥有、小规模而又灵活且有效率的小型运营商。他们相信公共交通的日益国有化，尤其是与日俱增的公交和铁路服务的公有化，不能解决第三世界城市的交通问题，因为国有企业被很多问题困扰，这些问题包括不愿增加经费以弥补增长的运营成本、人员冗余、综合管理缺陷和管理机构的缺乏等（Grava，1978，1980；Emmerij，1974；Rimmer，1980；Kirby，1979；Britton，1983；世界银行，1975，p42）。尽管如此，在20世纪70年代许多第三世界城市开始规划或建设城市大容量公共交通时，推崇高科技和国有制的运动变得十分明显（Coventry and Richards，1982）。尽管成本效率通常较低（尤其是在经济水平较低的城市）而且存在对以高科技和公有制手段解决第三世界城市交通问题的怀疑，这种“轨道崇拜”还是一直持续到今天。Fouracre等人（1990）在研究了13个第三世界城市（包括香港、新加坡、首尔和釜山这些本应被列为中高收入的城市）的地铁系统之后，发现经济水平较低的城市单位乘客单位公里数的总成本要高出许多，例如加尔各答为4.7美分，里约热内卢为6.4美分，而香港仅为3.3美分。在8个经济水平较低的城市中，有7个城市的地铁系统全面亏损（即票务收入低于运营成本和折旧成本）。他们总结出，成功的地铁系统都有非常高的高峰流量，在交通廊道的最繁忙区段接近15000人/小时。除此之外，这些城市年城市收入超过1800美元/人（1987年数据），且位于年收入至少1000美元/人的国家中。与此相悖的是，非机动车在许多第三世界城市中仍然扮演重要角色，尽管它们仍未被广泛纳入这些城市的交通规划和管理体系（Dimitriou，1993）。
Urban transportation in Third World cities shares four common characteristics. Firstly, there is a mixture of transportation technologies, with road space shared by fast moving motorized vehicles and slow non-motorized modes. In addition to traffic conflict, this mixing has led to road congestion and road safety problems. Secondly, is the misuse of transport technology. The most common example is t he misuse of the tractor as a light goods vehicles or a light goods vehicle as a passenger car. Also railways are used for inappropriate distances, such as cargo shipment of less than 100 km distances. Thirdly, are the deficiencies of urban public transport. In most Third World cities, the low income level forbids a high car ownership ratio and, thus, the alternative to non-motorized modes is public transport. Yet, rapid urbanization has outstripped public sector investment in public transport, leading to inadequacy of services. This may be measured by the base line suggested by the World Bank, i.e. less than one bus per 1000 population. Accra, Ankara, Bombay and Calcutta fall into such a category (Table I). Insufficient funds lead to poor maintenance, low efficiency of operation and operating deficits. A low availability rate of less than 80%, a low operating km per day per bus and a low ratio of operating revenue to total costs are common. Only the private sector bus services of Accra, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and Singapore were operating without loss. Fourthly, available data indicate that, whereas in cities of developed countries, roads typically occupy 15% to 25% of total urban areas, in the Third World, the ratio often falls below 10% (World Bank, 1975). An inadequate road network is a function of insufficient government investment. The situation is getting increasingly worse as many of the Third World cities are not only growing rapidly in population (at rates of 5-10% per year), their fleet of motor vehicles, particularly private cars, is increasing at high annual rates of 10% or more (see Table I). Dimitriou (1990) reported that between 1973 and 1984 the number of private cars nearly doubled in Indonesia and the number of trucks and buses more than doubled. In contrast, the increase in the provision of urban road infrastructure has been very slow-only 8 km of new roads (excluding toll roads) were added to the national urban road network for the same period and half of the mileage of the main urban network was physically deficient.
The provision of urban transport also involves issues of social justice. Access to cheap transport facilities for the urban poor is very important to them as cheap and convenient public transport effectively extends their search area for employment and other educational and social support facilities. They earn less than US$200 per annum and form 20-30% of the population in Latin American cities or as much as 50% in big Indian cities such as Calcutta or Madras.
Beijing experiences some of these transport problems typical of Third World cities, with its low level of economic development, insufficient resources to provide a modern infrastructure to match the demand for transport by the city’s activities and population and its long record of ‘incorporation’. Recently, the motorization trend in Beijing has picked up momentum and so has its quest for heavy-rail urban mass transit. Yet, its policy concern and positive consideration towards the predominant non-motorized modes seems to be unique.
As a city under a socialist government, Beijing from 1949 to 1992 (especially before 1978) has also been much affected by the ‘socialist model’ in urban transport development. Studies on former Soviet bloc countries show three basic principles of the model. First, the journey-to-work should be minimized. Second, spatial mobility should in general be public transport based. Third, public transport fares are to be heavily subsidized (Bater, 1980). The first is to be achieved through rational planning of employment and residential areas. Journey-to-work time for large cities of over half a million population is based on a norm of 40 minutes, while for smaller centers it is about 25 minutes. Economic expedience and low wage levels in general dictated the predominance of a heavily subsidized public transport sector. Although the trend of rising ownership of cars began to emerge in the USSR in the 1970s reliance on public transport was still obvious. Lack of choice in residential locations meant another important reason why residents were dependent on public transport. In Moscow, in 1970, there were 651 journeys per inhabitant on its intra- urban system; by 1975 the figure had risen to 693. In the meantime, public transport had increased in quality and quantity of services. For example, Moscow’s length of trolley bus services increased from 3000 km in 1960 to 8142 km in 1970 and 11912 km in 1976, and the respective numbers of passengers carried rose from 3005 million in 1960, to 6123 million and 8345 million in 1970 and 1976. A similar situation also prevailed in its tram service. Its metro system continued to add on new mileage as well (French, 1979). Besides frequency of service, a low flat-rate fare structure was a characteristic (Compton, 1979, p 483). Though there had been rising costs due to salary increases and the need to use more sophisticated machinery and equipment and hence a steep rise in capital investment and maintenance, most metropolitan governments increased subsidies rather than increase the low fare structure that symbolized the socialist goal of equity in collective goods consumption.
The location of employment nodes away from residential areas had often lengthened journeys- to-work to much above the norm. Low wage levels also usually forced a family to have more than one wage earner and, thus, upset the planning target of relating workplace to residence. Large scale redevelopment and rehousing in city centers in the 1950s and 1960s had equally led to lengthening of journeys-to-work. Lastly, the time lag between housing construction and provision of services, and a large number of ‘unplanned’ and ‘fluid’ population within the city were other reasons worsening the situation in public transport (Bater, 1980, pp 112-113). In the mid-1960s Moscovites on average spent 37 minutes on journey-to-work. In 1989, the average trip time increased to 45 minutes. In spite of these faults, the composition of intra-urban public transport for that year in Moscow reflects a situation of advanced industrialized cities with a well-developed transport infrastructure which includes the underground trains with nine routes and 221 km of track and which handled 2.9 billion passengers; the trolley buses that numbered 2100, and handled 1 billion passengers; the 8300 public buses which handled 2.4 billion passengers; and surface railways with 200 km of track which handled 0.5 billion passengers. Both the provision and three-dimensional structure of its public transport system are quite developed and sophisticated. In addition, the city registered 600 000 motor cars, 95% of which were privately owned (Wang, 1991).
As the national capital of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) since 1949, Beijing has undergone a ‘socialist’ transformation in its urban economy and urban development (Sit, 1985, 1995; Dong, 1985). To some extent, post-1949 urban transport development of the city has borne out the key elements of the socialist approach of equity in the access of public transport with intensive incorporation of public transport and heavy subsidy to public modes. On the other hand, some common features of Third World cities such as gross inadequacy of the road network, heavy dependence of the non-motorized modes in commuting and poor and inadequate public transport service equally characterized Beijing’s urban transport in 1949-1992. On top of these, the form of the layout of the Old City and the leadership’s strongly-held view that Beijing should be the symbol of the nation, posed the Communist Party a unique set of transport problems.
The setting of Beijing
Beijing had been the national capital in China’s last two imperial dynasties, the Ming and Qing dynasties. It had been laid out in a chessboard pattern with the palace city in the middle by the Ming Emperor Yong-le (1400-1420) according to Chinese traditional planning philosophy based on Confucian principles such as the Mandate of Heaven, the symbolism of the Unity of Man and Heaven, the benevolence of the imperial reign, as well as some ‘fung-shui’ (geomance) guidelines (Ho, 1985; Sit, 1995). In 1949, the Communist government inherited a Beijing of 700 sq. km size, but most of the 1.4 million population lived in the 62 sq. km area of the Old City, i.e. the imperial capital surrounded by the Outer Wall and which had changed little in the long period of 1420-1911 (marked by the Second Ring Road in Figure 2). The urban fabric of the city at that time was not much different from that of the last imperial dynasty that ended in 1911, especially its core, i.e. the Forbidden City which since the late 1920s have been turned into a large museum to preserve one of the world’s finest and most treasured collections of historical and architectural remains. Since 1949, the Chinese government spent much effort in transforming the city into the nation’s administrative headquarters and a large modern industrial centre. The city’s territory was expanded to 16 800 sq. km to provide space for major new industrial development and to include a huge rural hinterland for meeting the city’s demand for grains, other items of food and water.
By 1990, the population of the entire city rose to 10 million, 55% of which was concentrated in about 650 sq. km, the ‘planned urban area’ that is administratively divided into the four city districts and the four suburban districts. The four city districts, slightly larger than the old city with an area of 87 sq. km, accounted for 2.42 million or 23.4% of the entire municipal population. The economic transformation of the city can be seen from data on the contribution to GDP by the secondary sector which rose from 38.7% in 1952 to a peak of 71.1% in 1978, while the number engaged in manufacturing rose from 159317 in 1949 to 1.6 million in 1990. Although, for a long period, the urban economy has been growing quickly (10% annually for Total Social Production in 1953-1988, or 11.6% for GNP), the average income of the Beijing citizen remained low, i.e. Y250 in 1957; Y252 in 1965, Y500 in 1980 and Y2877 or $530 in 1991 (1991 US$l =Y5.46; Sit, 1995).
Thus, post-1949 Beijing was a city undergoing rapid urbanization and industrialization in a very different way from other Third World cities of the same period, i.e. it is a dynamic city with full employment based largely on modern industries, although its level of economic development as measured by per capita GDP or per capita national income may look similar to them. The socialist approach to planning and management of the city have obviously contributed to some of these divergencies, yet the feudal urban fabric that the municipal government has inherited and the Chinese modification of the basic socialist principles have equally affected the development of urban transport in Beijing.
In 1949, the city had only 215 km of surfaced roads. The widest road ran from Dongdan to Xidan (Changan Avenue) for a length of 3.8 km, and its widest part did not exceed 11 m. Besides, the east and west portions of this avenue were not joined, and were separated by a T-shape imperial square in front of Tiananmen (Figure 2). Elsewhere were over 3000 small lanes, locally called ‘hutongs’. Most of them were unsurfaced, ran in straight lines in the east-west direction, and were 4-6 m wide. They were rigidly laid out according to a separation of about 80 m within the ‘inner city’ (northern 2/3 of the Old City). The barrier provided by the Forbidden City which, since 1912, has been preserved as a museum, and most parts of the San Hai (Three Seas) of the Imperial City, as well as the dense grid of hutongs put a straight-jacket on urban transport development of the city, particularly of its city districts. Such a pattern of roads was very unsuitable for a modern capital and a modern economy, as the moat and wall of the Forbidden City remain intact and parts of the wall of the Imperial City still stand. Only the wall of the Inner City and the Outer City have been demolished for construction of the Second Ring Road. Thus the pre-industrial character of the large city core and its wealth in cultural relics, which need preservation, make Beijing a special case among Third World cities in its urban transport problems. Beijing, in addition, does have its ‘socialist’ features, i.e. an efficient, low-fare public transport system dominated by buses, popular use of the bicycle supported by official policy, and a publicly owned freight transport sector beset by problems through lack of incentives.
Since 1978, China has adopted a new Open Door and Reform strategy of development with more emphasis on market forces and numerous changes in the management of urban transport. This paper reviews the Collectivized Model of urban transport from 1949 to 1977 and the changes in the moves to Market Socialism since 1978. The experience of Beijing should broaden our understanding of urban transport issues and provide new data and ideas for reflection on established models and concepts about Third World urban transport.
The road network
In Beijing’s post-1949 road development, the opening of the east-west and north-south arteries became the most urgent work. This was vital for the development of new suburbs for industries, high level education, R&D and administration, as well as for residential use. As a result, the road mileage within the city and suburban districts increased 20-fold from 164 km in 1949 to 3276 km in 1991. The motorized vehicle numbers increased more more rapidly from 2328 in 1950 to 384 451 in 1990, as did total urban public transport users which increased from 29 million persons in 1949 to 3523 million in 1991. (Beijing Statistical Yearbook, various dates). The ratio of road mileage to car population increase is 1:8, and road mileage to public transport volume 1: 6. These too are common features of most Third World cities (Table 2). Beijing has, however, invested less in road construction. Bejing’s capital investment in urban transport (about 35% of which is spent on road construction and improvement) has been for many years less than 1% of the city’s total infrastructural investment. Most investment was in the first three years after 1949 and in the years since the Open and Reform policy was adopted in 1978. Quan (1988a) showed that in 1978-1988, the city invested a total of Y4.3 billion in transport construction, six times the annual average of the years before. In these 10 years, 6.23 million sq. m of urban roads had been added, or 38.7% of the total at 1978.
The major achievements in improving the urban road network are:
(1) opening up and/or widening of five east-west roads and one north-south trunk road;
(2) construction of ten arteries of 6-10 km in newly developed residential areas, including six north- south and three east-west district roads;
(3) in the suburbs, 13 main radiating roads have been built to link new developments there with the Old City;
(4) a number of ring roads have been constructed to reduce traffic in the Old City (Figure I). They are the Inner Ring Road, the main artery of the central area, which is 19 km long; the Second Ring Road of 23.7 km, on the former wall of the Old City (completed in 1993); the Third Ring Road of 48 km, completed in 1981 which serves mainly as the link between the suburban districts; and fourthly, the Fourth Ring Road of 65 km, partly completed at present. The Fourth Ring Road is to serve mainly intra-urban and inter-urban freight transport. Over the Second and Third Ring Roads, by 1989, 40 flyovers had been completed at busy road junctions (Figure 1). This system of ring and radial roads is basically copied from the Soviet model of transport planning.
Thus, post-1949 road building has altered the old grid pattern of the city’s road network, to a mixture of ring roads and radial roads. The Third Ring Road marks the divide between the Old City’s grid pattern and the predominance of radial roads in the outer urban areas in the suburbs.
Another important feature of the road network is the emergence of a circulatory system for bicycles, reflecting the city government’s increased attempts to integrate non-motorized modes in its urban transport strategy. From 1949 to 1965, most new main roads contained 14-21 m wide lanes for cars, in single carriageways without separation for motorized and non-motorized traffic. With growing use of bicycles in the city, the first three-carriageway main road was constructed in 1965 which provides separations for the two different modes. It contains two motorized vehicular lanes of 14 m each, and two bicycle and cart lanes of 4 m each. In between them are green reservations 2.5-5.5 m wide. By the end of 1983, there were 100 km three-carriageway main roads which were increased to 242 km (173 km within the city and suburban districts) in 1991. China is still unique within the Third World in integrating non-motorized modes into its road construction programmes.
Urban transport conditions have deteriorated due to rapid growth of motor car ownership and transport demand arising from economic and population growth, yet the imbalance in spatial growth of the network is partly responsible. A report of the Civil Engineering Bureau of the municipality revealed that there were 2000 km of roads (77.3% of total) within the planned urban areas (an area of 650 sq. km at the centre of the municipality), but their spatial distribution is however highly uneven. Within Second Ring Road were 747 km (36.1%) between the Second and Third Ring Road, 426 km (20.6%) and between the boundary of the planned urban areas and Third Ring Road were 896 km (43.3%).
Within the central area (the Old City of 62 sq. km marked by the Second Ring Road), main road density (roads of 7 m width and above) is the highest of all the urban zones, yet the quality of its roads are low. Main roads, however, only accounted for 9% of central area roads and it has few through-roads. The Old City, nevertheless, accommodated 28.7% of the urban traffic and was the origin of 53% of the commuting trips of the city. Its road network had already reached a capacity of 90% and yet its traffic volume was still growing at a rate of 4.6% per year, exceeding the city average of 3% (Quan, 1990a). Traffic surveys in 1986 and 1987 show that within the Old City, the speed of motorized vehicles on main roads dropped 40% in one year alone, to an average of 20 km/hour, while on 23 main roads it was only 10 km/hour. Inadequacy of main through-roads, arising both from the need to preserve the Forbidden City and San Hai, as well as high costs and problems of resettlement of the densely populated areas affected by road widening schemes, have constrained urban transport improvement in old Beijing.
As the Inner Ring road is still incomplete and of low standard due to the high costs and difficulty of demolition of existing housing, most inter-district traffic has to use the Second Ring Road. Traffic surveys indicated that 93% of the vehicle flow of the city is in an east- west direction and 25% of the inter-city flow passes through the inner city. This pattern of traffic flow is at conflict with the traditional street pattern of the Old City. A higher standard Second Ring Road and a completed Fourth Ring Road are certainly necessary in order to improve the situation. The standards of the radiating roads are also low. They mostly contain only two lanes for motorized vehicles, and sections on the inside of the Third Ring Road are still largely uncompleted.
Of the 2000 km of roads within the planned urban areas, only 824 km are of a width of over 7 m and could be used by motorized vehicles, including 100 km of high standard roads with four lanes and a total surfaced width of over 21 m and 235 km of 12-21 m width roads, which allow for some separation of motorized and non-motorized traffic. 60% of the road network are, therefore, below 7 m in width and cannot normally be used for motorized traffic. Only about 497 km may be used by ambulances, fire-engines and refuse collecting vehicles in emergencies. The remaining 748 km are only used for bicycle and pedestrian traffic (Civil Engineering Bureau, 1987).