China / Society

Hangzhou opens first metro line to ease traffic

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-11-24 14:24

HANGZHOU - The first metro line in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province, officially opened on Saturday in a bid to help ease traffic congestion.

The 48-km-long Metro Line One has 31 stations and 48 trains with a departure every 10 minutes from 6:30 am to 8:30 pm each day.

Zhejiang Governor Xia Baolong inaugurated the line, which is designed with a daily passenger capacity of 287,000.

Shao Jianming, chairman of the Hangzhou Metro Group which is behind the project, said that the 24-billion-yuan ($3.85 billion) line is expected to ease traffic woes in the city, which has a population of more than 8.7 million.

"Hangzhou's metro network, upon its full completion in 2050, will comprise 40 percent of the city's public transport," he said.

Hangzhou will build 10 metro lines by 2020 with a combined length of 375 km and by 2050, it will have a total of 13 lines.

Shao said the Metro Line One, which took five years to construct, boasts complex technology as it runs underneath the West Lake, the Qiantang River, the Grand Canal and several railways.

The line will be jointly operated by the Hangzhou Metro Group and the Hong Kong-based MTR, according to a deal signed in July on a 51-49 joint venture to manage the line for 25 years.

Huang Kunming, Secretary of the Hangzhou Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, called Saturday's launch "just a beginning" of Hangzhou's metro line construction boom.

Tickets, which are due to go on sale at 2:30 pm, are set to vary from 2 to 8 yuan.

Related story: Hangzhou's first metro line to start operation

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