Beijing implemented a "No Driving Day" policy prohibiting car owners from driving within the fifth Ring Road for one weekday each week from 7am to 8pm. No driving Days are
decided according to tail plate number and rotate every 13 weeks.
What do you do if you get caught parking where you shouldn’t? Step one is an oral warning and an order to vacate the spot. However, if you do not immediately cooperate, your
car may be towed, accompanied with a fine of RMB200 and possible loss of penalty points. If you get a parking ticket, bring it and your Chinese Driver’s license to the address
listed in red on the ticket or to any branch of the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau. You will then exchange your parking ticket for a second, smaller ticket. You can then
take that smaller ticket to pay your fine at any branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
Accidents and insurance
The law on the responsibilities of drivers involved in accidents is designed to speed up the accident-resolution process to prevent fender benders from jamming traffic. Here’s
what it stipulates:
After a minor accident, stop your car immediately in the position of the accident, turn on your hazard lights, and jot down the other driver’s license, license plate, and
insurance policy numbers along with their contact information. Call the police immediately if the other driver appears to have been drinking alcohol, or lacks either a license
or license plate.
The law suggests that you mark the scene with chalk (show the positions of all the wheels of both cars) - all insurance companies are obligated to distribute free chalk to
their customers and take photographs from different angles. After that, you and the other driver must decide whether you agree about respective responsibility for the crash.
If you can’t reach an agreement, call the police – when they arrive, officers will assign responsibility based on the evidence at the site and the testimony of bystanders,
after which you will fill out the provided accident claim forms. They can assess fines on the spot and call two trucks if needed. Then you should call your insurance company
within 48 hours and obtain an accident report number.
On the other hand, upon a minor accident, many Beijingers will promptly negotiate a cash settlement rather than involve the authorities and insurance companies and risk losing
points and /or paying a fine. If you select this route, consider not revealing your mobile phone and license number lest the other party should later decide to file a claim or
contact the police. Further note that such informal settlements will invalidate any insurance claim you later might decide to make.
There are over 70,000 taxis running in every corner of the city. Some drivers speak little English, while most do not. Since the city authorities improved drivers' English for
the 2008 Olympics, more and more drivers can speak English. Make sure you have the address written in Chinese. If there is a phone contact at your destination, note that as
well: a mobile phone is the most useful navigation tool in Beijing.
Beijing cab drivers are mostly honest, and incidents of drivers deliberately taking advantage of foreigners are very rare. Tipping in China is not customary and drivers will
expect to be paid only what is on the meter, plus any road tolls. The taxi fleet has been upgraded over the past two years, and nearly all vehicles are now reasonably spacious
and comfortable. Sit in the front if you want to buckle up, but strangely, there is no requirement for rear seatbelts, and most cab companies rip them out.
Starting fare is RMB 10, and beyond 3 km the rate is RMB 2 per km plus RMB3 for gas fee. There are surcharges for long-distance and late night trips. Five minutes of waiting
time equals 1 km of driving time. Keep the printed receipt at the end of the trip: it includes all vehicle details, which is invaluable if you have left an item in the taxi.
- Taxi calling number: 6837 3399
- Taxi complaint number: 6835 1150
The Beijing Subway is a rapid transit rail network that serves the urban and suburban districts of Beijing municipality. The subway's first line opened in 1969, and the
network now has 15 lines, 192 stations, and 372 km of track in operation. It is the oldest subway in mainland China. Among the world's metro systems, the Beijing Subway ranks
fourth in track length after the metros of Shanghai, London and Seoul, and fourth in annual ridership after those of Tokyo, Seoul, and Moscow.
The most recent additions, Line 9, along with sections of Lines 8, 15 and Fangshan, entered into operation on December 31, 2011. Despite the rapid expansion, the existing
network cannot adequately meet the city's mass transit needs and extensive expansion plans call for 19 lines and over 703 km (437 mi) of track in operation by 2015. Download the Beijing metro map here.
How to Buy the Ticket? A single-ride ticket costs RMB 2.00, it is a flat fare with unlimited transfers. This applies to all lines except the Airport Express, which costs RMB
25.00 per ride. and you can also get a Yikatong, an integrated circuit card that needs a RMB 20 deposit, refundable, plus whatever amount you want to put on the card, All
subway lines now collect fares through automatic fare collection (AFC) machines that accept single-ride tickets and Yikatong.
Beijing is one of the largest metropolises with a comprehensive bus system. There are more than 20,000 public buses, including normal buses, double decker buses (beginning
with te 特, te in Chinese means "special") and trolley buses. Beijing's bus system is cheap, convenient and covers the entire city. In general, bus drivers and ticket sellers
do not speak English.
Buses run from 5:00am to 11:00pm daily. The starting fare of public buses is RMB1 for both non air-conditioned and air-conditioned buses. Buses that travel in the suburban
areas cost RMB2. The public bus system has implemented an IC card system that allows passengers to travel at a discounted rate. Usually, a bus that costs RMB1 will cost
RMB0.40 after the discount.
IC cards can be purchased with a RMB20 reimbursable deposit, and any additional amount is counted as a prepaid fare. IC cards can also be used for the subway system, but there
are no discount fares. Cards can be bought at any subway station.
One of the biggest problems that bus passengers encounter is theft. All personal belongings should be carefully protected, especially when boarding or exiting the bus.
Normally buses with three doors only permit boarding from the middle door and exiting from the front and the rear doors.
Some expatriates choose to purchase or lease a car. Those living in the Shunyi suburbs definitely need one as there are fewer taxis and no subway access within walking
distance. Note that some companies have policies specifying that foreign employees may not drive during their posting in China. Many expats choose to lease a car and driver.
It is important that you lease from a driver (or leasing company) with the correct permit allowing him to lease out his car. Specific lease terms vary, but rates start from
about RMB10,000/month for a VW Passat with driver but excluding petrol and toll fees.
The Beijing municipal government started limit yearly issuance of new car license plates to 240,000 in 2011 and implement harsh traffic control measures to ease the city's
traffic congestion. Beijing car buyers will have to draw lots before obtaining a car license plate. Cars registered outside of Beijing will be banned from being driven inside
the 5th Ring Road on work days during the rush hours of 7 to 9 a.m.and 5 to 8 p.m.