Third Ring Road buses to increase capacity, expand operating hours
Buses that run along the Third Ring Road will extend their operating hours to 11:30 p.m., announced Chengdu Transportation Group deputy head Ceng Yan
Frequency of lines 338, 331, 337 will be increased from the current seven minutes to four minutes during peak times, and the current eight-meter buses will be replaced with 12-meter buses, increasing their capacity from a reported 50 to 120 passengers. Changes will take effect on July 20.
Unlike the buses that operate on the First and Second Ring Roads, the Third Ring Road buses do not make a complete loop. Instead, they start at Chadianzi Station and the East Passenger (Dongke) Station, respectively, running north and south.
And within this year Ceng said that operating hours for many of the bus lines will be extended to 11:30 p.m., in accordance with numerous requests for late-night bus service. The extended hours will apply to bus line that currently stop running at 8, 8:30, or 9 p.m. "Many of the large shopping centers are still open at 9 or 10 p.m., and Chengdu is a city of leisure. If the last bus starts its run at 11:30 p.m., it can still take the last hanger-outers and shoppers," said Ceng.
The announcement came amidst hot discussion over the new license-plate policy that bans certain cars from the Third Ring Road on certain days. While construction is being carried out along the Third Ring Road over the next three months, personal vehicles with plate numbers ending in an odd-numbered digit will be banned from the road on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays while those with plate numbers ending in an even number will be banned on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The restriction is applicable from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Four days after the scheme was officially implemented, local news reported that the Third Ring Road was empty while the Second Ring Road and the 2.5 ring road were jammed with traffic. However, many drivers were still ignoring the ban. They face a fine of RMB100 and a 3-point penalty on their driving record.