Transportation

 Beijing has an extensive public transportation network, which includes subway, bus, taxi and pedicabs. Subway trains run at regular three to five minute intervals. There are more than 60,000 taxis in the city. Public buses are the cheapest means of transportation and cover the entire city. They are a difficult option for new arrivals, as all signs and most announcements are in Chinese, but for the longer-term resident, mastering the bus system is worth the effort. Although Beijing is one of the largest metropolises in China, there are still numerous bicycles on the street, as it is a major form of transportation used by residents to commute to work. Visitors coming to the city also get to experience pedicabs, which are convenient for traveling short distances.

 One of Beijing''s biggest urban concerns is its widespread traffic congestion. Traffic in the city center is often gridlocked during rush hours (7:00AM-9:30AM; 11:30AM-2:00PM and 5:30PM-7:00PM), so visitors are advised to avoid rush hours, or build plenty of flexibility into their travel times.Getting around Beijing can be easy, fun, and cheap.  Take your pick from the options detailed below.

  • TAXI 

Taxis (simplified Chinese: 出租车; pinyin: chūzūchē) can be requested by phone, however since there are plentiful empty taxis available on street, people usually hail on the streets. Starting fare is RMB 10, and beyond 3 km the rate is RMB 2 per km. There are surcharges for long-distance , late night trips and  1-yuan fuel surcharge when the meter hits 3 km. Five minutes of waiting time equals 1 km of driving time. The price ranges from 10 - 40 RMB for most destinations.  Airport can set you back up to around 150 RMB (includes the expressway toll ,about 15 RMB). 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.  The main problem is communication.  Be prepared to have your destination written in Chinese characters to hand to the driver.  English is almost non-existent and even place names all have our own unique Chinese name.If there is a phone contact at your destination, note that as well: a mobile phone is the most useful navigation tool in Beijing.

Every Beijing cab has a meter. On the top of the meters is a big lever to start and stop it. When the meter is turned off, the "For Hire" sign will appears in the window. It is a small red sign, which lights up at night easily to be seen. If the driver says the meter is not working you should get out and find another taxi.  Also, do not use a taxi where the driver tells you the price of your destination before you get in,they may be the "black car".

Taxi call in Beijing:
Tel: 96103, 68373399
For taxi complaints:
Tel: 68351150

Special tips:
1. Have your destinations writing in Chinese on a card
2. Ask the driver for receipt.
3. Avoid unregistered “Taxis”
4. It’s very difficult to get a cab in a rainy day
 

  • SUBWAY 

The Beijing Subway (simplified Chinese: 北京地铁; pinyin: Běijīng dìtiě) is the fastest way to get around Beijing.Subway entrances are easily identified since they have a blue sign with a stylized letter ''''B'''' wrapped around a letter ''''D.'''' Operational hours are from 5:00AM to around 11:00PM.The subway runs every 5 to 10 minutes, and it often stops 1 minutes on each stop. The flat fare is RMB 2 with unlimited transfers applies to all lines except the Airport Express, which costs ¥25. Children below 1.2m in height ride for free when accompanied by a paying adult.All lines now collect fares through automatic fare collection (AFC) machines that accept single-ride tickets and the One Card Through Card or Yikatong, an integrated circuit card (IC card) can be purchased with a RMB20 reimbursable deposit, and any additional amount is counted as a prepaid fare. Riders can purchase tickets and add credit to Yikatong(IC card) at ticket counters and vending machines in every station. Cards can be bought at any subway station and at some kiosks.Yikatong(IC card) is also accepted on city buses and taxis, and can be used as e-money for other purchases.

  ►List of Beijing Subway stations  ►Beijing Metro Map ► Beijing subway map (to scale)Official Website

 

  • BUS 

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 around 10:00pm daily. The starting fare of public buses is RMB 1 for both non air-conditioned buses and air-conditioned buses. Buses that travel in the suburban areas cost RMB 2. The public bus system has implemented an IC card system(One Card Through Card or Yikatong) that allows passengers to travel at a discounted rate. Usually, a bus that costs RMB1 will cost RMB0.40 after discount.

Note: normally buses with three doors only permit boarding from the middle door and exiting from the front and the rear doors.

  ►Bus Mapofficial website ►Beijing Bus Fan Club