The total length of Beijing's rail transit network reached 685.1 kilometers in 2017, the second longest in China; its annual passenger volume reached 3.78 billion, ranking first in the country.
This is according to a report recently released at a general meeting held by the China Urban Rail Transit Association in Beijing. The report reveals that 32 new rail transit lines started operation in the Chinese mainland (excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan regions) in 2017, with three new lines starting trial operation in Beijing. Meanwhile, the domestically developed equipment for rail transit has taken the industry lead among international competitors.
China has witnessed a boom in urban rail transit construction, with 165 new lines operating in 34 cities in the Chinese mainland by the end of last year. Among all the operating lines spanning about 5,033 kilometers, subway lines covered 3,884 kilometers, accounting for 77.2 percent of the total; other types of urban rail transit lines covered 1,149 kilometers, accounting for 22.8 percent. The capital alone had 685.1 kilometers of rail transit lines, with Beijing subway lines spanning about 608 kilometers, and the Beijing Suburban Railway Line S2 covering more than 70 kilometers.
All numbers are also expected to grow. Fifty-six cities in the Chinese mainland had started construction of rail transit lines in 2017, with the total length under construction reaching 6,246.3 kilometers. The rail transit association states that the number of cities and transit lines — as well as the total length under construction — are all setting records, even surpassing the scale of transit lines already in operation.
The scale of Beijing's rail transit network has been growing steadily with new lines opening every year since 2009, and the total investment approved by the National Development and Reform Commission reached over 200 billion yuan (US$32 billion) by the end of 2017.
The latest additions to China's rail transit lines also got smarter than ever. For instance, the Yanfang Line running through Beijing's southwest suburbs is the first Fully Automatic Operation (FAO) metro line in the Chinese mainland. All of the equipment and technologies it uses are domestically developed. As a demonstration project, this line applies the FAO system to meet China’s rail transit requirements, conquering technical challenges such as serving entirely driverless trains and integrating automatic control.
China's passenger volume also grows in pace with its increasingly developed rail transit network, which handled as many as 18.5 billion passenger trips last year, a 14.9 percent increase year-on-year.