At 2:00pm Oct. 7th, Subway No. 5 made its official debut in Beijing. The newly-built subway line stretches from Tiantongyuan in the north to Song Zhuang in the south, covering a distance of 27.6km. It takes nearly four years to complete this huge project( investment of 12 billion yuan)since its construction on Dec. 27th, 2003.
The No. 5 brings me, and other residents living nearby, a lot of convenience. It saves me a lot of time and money. I go to work by subway every day. In the past, I took No 13 and had to transfer twice before I reached the station near my office, and the two transfers alone nearly took me half an hour. The whole trip nearly took me one and a quarter hours from my home to the office. Now, the time has substantially shortened. I can make it in less than an hour. Alas! I do benefit a lot from it!
Here’s a comparison of the time I spent before and after No. 5 is completed:
From my home to the nearest Station 20minutes(No. 13)
From my home to Dongzhimen 20minutes
First Transfer at Dongzhimen 10minutes
Dongzhimen to Jianguomen 10minutes
Second transfer at Jianguomen 10minutes
Jianguomen to Yonganli 5minutes
From my home to the nearest station 15minutes
From Lishuiqiao South to Dongdan 27minutes
Transfer and to Yonganli 10minutes
How does Beijing’s subway system look like? Here’s a sketch of the system:
It must be beyond your thoughts that Beijing’s subway was not built as a part of the public transportation, but for national defense purpose at the very beginning. Construction of the first subway line, No. 1, began in the mid-1960s, when we broke up our ties with Suviet Union. It kept as a top level secret for a long time and was not open to the public till Sept. 15th, 1981. On October 1st 1969, just on the 20th national day, No. 1 Subway Line began its operation, making Beijing the first city that owns subway lines in China.
Since then, No. 2, No. 13 and Batong Line was put to operation in succession. By the end of 2005, the total length of the city’s subway line reached 114km. Plus No. 5, the total length by this year will be 141.6km.
The following is a summary of Beijing’s subway system:
Completed: No. 1, No. 2, No. 5, No. 8 ( Olympic line), No. 13, Batong Line
Under construction: No. 4, No. 9, No. 10
About to be built: No. 6, Daxing Line, Yizhuang Line, etc
Planning: No. 7, No. 11, No. 12, No14, No. 15, No. 16
Beijing is now making preparations for the 29th Olympic Games, and it is part of the scheme to improve the city’s subway system. I believe the city will become a more and more attractive place to the people around the world!