|Owner||Beijing Municipal Government|
|Locale||Beijing & Langfang, Hebei|
|Transit type||Rapid transit|
|Number of lines||24|
|Number of stations||428[a]|
|Daily ridership||10.544 million (2018 daily avg.)|
13.7538 million (12 July 2019 record)
|Annual ridership||3.8484 billion (2018)|
|Began operation||15 January 1971|
|Number of vehicles||6,173 Revenue Railcars (2019)|
|System length||727 km (452 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in) (standard gauge)|
The Beijing Subway is the rapid transit system of Beijing Municipality that consists of 24 lines including 19 rapid transit lines, two airport rail links, one maglev line and 2 light rail lines, and 428 stations.[a] The rail network extends 727 km (452 mi) across 12 urban and suburban districts of Beijing and into one district of Langfang in neighboring Hebei province. With 3.8484 billion trips delivered in 2018, an average of 10.544 million trips per day, the Beijing Subway is the world's busiest metro system. Single-day ridership set a record of 13.7538 million on July 12, 2019.
The Beijing Subway opened in 1971 and is the oldest metro system in mainland China and on the mainland of East Asia. Before the system began its rapid expansion in 2002, the subway had only two lines. The existing network still cannot adequately meet the city's mass transit needs. Beijing Subway's extensive expansion plans call for 998.5 km (620.4 mi) of lines serving a projected 18.5 million trips every day by 2021. The most recent expansion came into effect on August 29, 2021, with through service from Line 1 to the Batong Line.
|Distance-based fare schedule|
On December 28, 2014, the Beijing Subway switched from a fixed-fare to a distance-based fare schedule for all lines except the Capital Airport Express. For all lines except the two Airport Express lines, fares start at ¥3 for a trip up to 6 km in distance, with ¥1 added for the next 6 km, for every 10 km thereafter until the trip distance reaches 32 km, and for every 20 km beyond the first 32 km. A 40 km trip would cost ¥7.
The Capital Airport Express has a fixed fare of ¥25 per ride. The Daxing Airport Express is the only line to maintain class-based fares with ordinary class fare varying with distance from ¥10 to ¥35 and business class fare fixed at ¥50 per ride.
Same station transfers are free on all subway lines except the two Airport Express lines and the Xijiao Line, which require the purchase of a new fare when transferring to or from those lines. Children below 1.3 metres (51 in) in height ride for free when accompanied by a paying adult. Senior citizens over the age of 65, individuals with physical disabilities, retired revolutionary cadres, police and army veterans who had been wounded in action, military personnel and People's Armed Police can ride the subway for free.
Riders can look up fares by checking fare schedules posted in stations, calling the subway hotline 96165, going to the Beijing Subway website, or using the subway's smartphone app.
Unlimited ride periodic ticket are available by these period by using QR code to use since January 20, 2019.
|Discounts for Yikatong card users|
after credit rebate
Passengers must insert the ticket or scan the card at the gate both before entering and exiting the station. The subway's fare collection gates accept single-ride tickets and the Yikatong fare card. Passengers can purchase tickets and add credit to Yikatong card at ticket counters or vending machines in every station. The Yikatong, also known as Beijing Municipal Administration & Communication Card (BMAC), is an integrated circuit card that stores credit for the subway, urban and suburban buses and e-money for other purchases. The Yikatong card itself must be purchased at the ticket counter. To enter a station, the Yikatong card must have a minimum balance of ¥3.00.
To prevent fraud, passengers are required to complete their journeys within four hours upon entering the subway. If the four-hour limit is exceeded, a surcharge of ¥3 is imposed. Each Yikatong card is allowed to be overdrawn once. The overdrawn amount is deducted when credits are added to the card.
Yikatong card users who spend more than ¥100 on subway fare in a calendar month will receive credits to their card the following month. After reaching ¥100 of spending in one calendar month, 20% of any further spending up to ¥150 will be credited. When spending exceeds ¥150, 50% of any further spending up to ¥250 will be credited. Once expenditures exceed ¥400, further spending won't earn any more credits. The credits are designed to ease commuters' burdens of fare increases.
Previous fare schedules
Prior to the December 28, 2014 fare increase, passengers paid a flat rate of RMB(¥) 2.00 (including unlimited fare-free transfers) for all lines except the Capital Airport Express, which cost ¥25, The flat fare was the lowest among metro systems in China. Before the flat fare schedule was introduced on October 7, 2007, fares ranged from ¥3 to ¥7, depending on the line and number of transfers.
Lines in operation
Beijing Subway lines generally follow the checkerboard layout of the city. Most lines through the urban core (outlined by the Line 10 loop) run parallel or perpendicular to each other and intersect at right angles. As of September 24, 2021, Lines 8 and 14 each operate in two separate sections.
Lines through the urban core
The urban core of Beijing is roughly outlined by the Line 10 loop, which runs underneath or just beyond the 3rd Ring Road. Each of the following lines provides extensive service within the Line 10 loop. All have connections to seven or more lines. Lines 1, 4, 5, 6 and 8 also run through the Line 2 loop, marking the old Ming-Qing era city of Beijing.
- Line 1, a straight east–west line underneath Chang'an Avenue, which bisects the city through Tiananmen Square. Line 1 connects major commercial centres, Xidan, Wangfujing, Dongdan and the Beijing CBD.
- Line 2, the inner rectangular loop line traces the Ming-era inner city wall that once surrounded the inner city, and stops at 11 of the wall's former gates (ending in men), now busy intersections, as well as the Beijing railway station.[g]
- Line 4, a mainly north–south line running through the west of city centre with stops at the Summer Palace, Old Summer Palace, Peking and Renmin Universities, Zhongguancun, National Library, Beijing Zoo, Xidan, Taoranting and Beijing South railway station.
- Line 5, a straight north–south line running through the east of the city centre. It passes the Temple of Earth, Yonghe Temple and the Temple of Heaven.
- Line 6, a nearly straight east–west line running parallel and to the north of Line 1, passing through the city centre north of Beihai Park. At 53.4 km, it is the second longest Beijing Subway line after Line 10, and runs from Shijingshan District in the west to the Beijing City-sub center in Tongzhou District, terminating at Lucheng just beyond the eastern 6th Ring Road.
- Line 7, an east–west line running parallel and to the south of Line 1 and Batong line, from Beijing West railway station to Universal Resort. It serves the old neighborhoods of southern Beijing with stops at Zhushi Kou, Caishikou and Ciqi Kou.
- Line 8, a north–south line following the city's central axis in two sections: from Changping District through Huilongguan and the Olympic Green to Shichahai and Nanluoguxiang inside the Second Ring Road, and from Zhushikou, due south of Qianmen, through Yongdingmen to Daxing District.
- Line 9, a north–south line running west of Line 4 from the National Library through the Military Museum and Beijing West railway station to Guogongzhuang in the southwestern suburbs.
- Line 10, the outer loop line runs underneath or just beyond the Third Ring Road. Apart from the Line 2 loop, which is entirely enclosed within the Line 10 loop, every other line through the urban core intersects with Line 10. In the north, Line 10 traces Beijing's Yuan-era city wall.
- Line 14, operates in two sections: an east–west line from Zhangguozhuang to Xiju on Line 10, in the southwestern suburbs and an inverted L-shaped line from the Beijing South Railway Station east to Beijing University of Technology in the southeast before turning north through the Beijing CBD, Chaoyang Park, Jiuxianqiao, and Wangjing to Shan'gezhuang in Chaoyang District.
- Line 16 starts at Ganjia Kou in central Beijing and goes into the northwest suburbs of Haidian District north of the Baiwang Mountain.
Lines serving outlying suburbs
Each of the following lines provides service predominantly to one or more of the suburbs beyond the 5th Ring Road. Lines 15 along with the Changping, Daxing, Yanfang, and S1 lines extend beyond the 6th Ring Road.
- Line 13 arcs across suburbs north of the city and transports commuters to Xizhimen and Dongzhimen, at the northwest and northeast corners of Line 2.
- Line 15 an east–west line which runs between the northern 4th and 5th Ring Road from the east of Tsinghua University, through the Olympic Green and Wangjing, turning northeast to suburban Shunyi District.
- Batong line extends Line 1 eastward from Sihui to suburban Tongzhou District.
- Changping line branches off Line 13 at Xi'erqi and runs north through suburban Changping District. The line passes the Life Science Park, Shahe University Park, and the Thirteen Ming tombs.
- Daxing line extends Line 4 south to suburban Daxing District.
- Fangshan line goes from Dongguantou Nan(S) into Fangshan District in the southwestern suburbs.
- Yanfang line extends the Fangshan line further into western Fangshan District.
- Yizhuang line extends from Line 5's southern terminus to the Yizhuang Economic & Technological Development Zone in the southeastern suburbs.
- Capital Airport Express connects the Beijing Capital International Airport, 27 km (17 mi) northeast of the city, with Line 10 at Sanyuanqiao and Lines 2 and 13 at Dongzhimen.
- Daxing Airport Express connects the Beijing Daxing International Airport, 46 km (29 mi) south of the city, with Line 10 at Caoqiao.
- Line S1, a low-speed maglev line connecting suburban Mentougou District with Line 6 in Shijingshan District.
- Xijiao line, a light rail line that branches off Line 10 at Bagou and extends west to Xiangshan.
- Yizhuang T1 line, a light rail line in Yizhuang, Beijing.
According to the Phase 2 construction plan approved by the NDRC in 2015, the length of Beijing Subway will reach 998.5 km (620.4 mi) when the Phase 2 construction finished. By then, public transit will comprise 60% of all trips. Of those, the subway will comprise 62%. The adjustment of the Phase 2 construction plan was approved by the NDRC on December 5, 2019.
The new lines will significantly expand the subway's coverage, especially south and west of the city. Line 14's two sections will be connected into an inverted L-shaped line that pivots in the southeast.
|Line||Phase & Section||Terminals
|2021||Phase III North Section||National Art Museum
|Completes Line 8||2013||4.3||3||Under testing|||
|West section of Phase 1 (Winter Olympic section)||Moshikou
|Lize section||Beijing South railway station
|Completes Line 14||4||5|||
|South section of Phase I||Shilihe
|Phase I||Mudan Yuan
|Phase I remaining section||Jin'an Qiao
|West extension||Dongzhi Men
|Extension to Line 5||2015||1.8||1|||
|Qinghe railway station
|2022||Renovation on military section||Pingguo Yuan
|Following the North Third Ring Road||2015||29.6||21|||
|Southern section||Ganjia Kou
|South extension||Qinghe railway station
|North extension||Lize Business District
|2023||Phase I||Dongsi Shitiao
|North section of Phase I||Future Science Park North
|2024 - 2025||
|Runs through the Central Business District||8.77||9|||
|Line 13 split project||Chegongzhuang
|31.2 (19.8 new)||18||Planned|||
|32.2 (9.2 new)||15|
In 2014, Beijing planning authorities assessed mass transit monorail lines for areas of the city in which subway construction or operation is difficult. Straddle beam monorail trains have lower transport capacity and operating speed (60 km/h or 37 mph) than conventional subways, but are quieter to operate, have smaller turning radius and better climbing capability, and cost only one-third to one-half of subways to build. According to the initial environmental assessment report by the Chinese Academy of Rail Sciences, the Yuquanlu Line was planned to have 21 stations over 25 km (16 mi) in western Beijing. The line was to begin construction in 2014 and would take two years to complete. The Dongsihuan Line (named for the Eastern Fourth Ring Road it was to follow) was planned to have 21 stations over 33.7 km (20.9 mi). In early 2015, plans for both monorail lines were shelved indefinitely, due to low capacity and resident opposition. The Yuquanlu Line remains on the city's future transportation plan, and it will be built as a conventional underground subway line. The Dongsihuan Line was replaced by the East extension of Line 7.
Line 28 (CBD line)
According to the most recent plan announced in November 2018, the line is upgraded to a subway line, not an automatic people mover (APM). The line will run 8.77 km (5.45 mi) and it will have 9 stations from Dongdaqiao to Guangqudonglu.
Owner and operators
The Beijing Subway is owned by the Beijing Municipal People's Government through the Beijing Infrastructure Investment Co., LTD, (北京市基础设施投资有限公司 or BIIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Beijing State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (北京市人民政府国有资产监督管理委员会 or Beijing SASAC), the municipal government's asset holding entity.
The Beijing Subway was originally developed and controlled by the Central Government. The subway's construction and planning was headed by a special committee of the State Council. In February 1970, Premier Zhou Enlai handed management of the subway to the People's Liberation Army, which formed the PLA Rail Engineering Corp Beijing Subway Management Bureau. In November 1975, by order of the State Council and Central Military Commission the bureau was placed under the authority of Beijing Municipal Transportation Department.
On April 20, 1981, the bureau became the Beijing Subway Company, which was a subsidiary of the Beijing Public Transportation Company.
In July 2001, the Beijing Municipal Government reorganized the subway company into the Beijing Subway Group Company Ltd., a wholly city-owned holding company, which assumed ownership of all of the subway's assets. In November 2003, the assets of the Beijing Subway Group Company were transferred to the newly created BIIC.
The Beijing Subway has five operators:
- The main operator is the wholly state-owned Beijing Mass Transit Railway Operation Corp. (北京市地铁运营有限公司 or Beijing Subway OpCo), which was formed in the reorganization of the original Beijing Subway Group Company in 2001, and operates 15 lines: Lines 1, 2, 5–10, 13, 15, Batong line, Changping line, Fangshan line, Yizhuang line and S1 line.
- The Beijing MTR Corp. (北京京港地铁有限公司 or Beijing MTR), a public–private joint venture formed in 2005 by and among Beijing Capital Group, a state company under Beijing SASAC (with 49% equity ownership), MTR Corporation of Hong Kong (49%), and BIIC (2%), and operates four lines: Lines 4, 14, 16 and Daxing line. Line 17, which is currently under construction, is also confirmed to be operated by the Beijing MTR Corporation Limited.
- The Beijing Metro Operation Administration Corp., Ltd. (北京市轨道交通运营管理有限公司 or BJMOA), a subsidiary of Beijing Metro Construction Administration Corporation Ltd. (北京市轨道交通建设管理有限公司 or BJMCA) also under Beijing SASAC, became the third company to obtain operation rights for the Beijing Subway in 2015. The BJMOA operates the Yanfang line and Daxing Airport Express, and is confirmed to operate Line 19 which is under construction. Its corporate parent, BJMCA, is a general contractor for Beijing Subway construction.
- The Beijing Public Transit Tramway Co., Ltd. (北京公交有轨电车有限公司), formed in 2017, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Beijing Public Transport Corporation (北京公共交通控股（集团）有限公司 or BPTC) that operates the Xijiao line. Its corporate parent, BPTC, is the city's main public bus operator.
- The Beijing City Metro Ltd. (北京京城地铁有限公司), also branded as "Capital Metro" (京城地铁) in their official logo, operates the Capital Airport Express. Beijing City Metro Ltd. is a joint venture established on February 15, 2016, between Beijing Subway OpCo (51%) and BII Railway Transportation Technology Holdings Company Limited (49%)(京投轨道交通科技控股有限公司), a Hong Kong listed company (1522.HK) controlled by BIIC. On March 27, 2017, Beijing City Metro Ltd. acquired a 30-year right to operate the Capital Airport Express and sections of the Dongzhimen subway station.
All subway train sets run on 1,435 millimetres (56.5 in) standard gauge rail, except the maglev trains on Line S1, which run on a maglev track. Beijing Subway operates Type B trains on most lines. However, due to increasing congestion on the network high capacity Type A trains are increasingly being used. Additionally, Type D trains are being used in express subway lines.
Until 2003 nearly all trains were manufactured by the Changchun Railway Vehicles Company Ltd., now a subsidiary of the China CNR Corporation. The newest Line 1 trains and those on Lines 4, 8, Batong, Changping and Daxing are made by Qingdao Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co., a subsidiary of China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Industry Corp.. Line S1's maglev trains were produced by CRRC Tangshan.
Lines 14 and 16 trains run on standard gauge track and draw 1500V DC power from overhead electrical lines. The DKZ53 train on Line 14 pictured above uses Type-A cars, which unlike the more common Type-B cars, are 3.1 meters longer and 20 cm wider, have 10 sets of doors instead of 8 sets of doors, greater passenger capacity and higher top speed.
The four-car train sets of the Capital Airport Express have linear motors of instead of rotary motors. Capital Airport Express trains draw 750V DC power from the third rail, and are propelled using the aluminum strip, a "fourth rail", between the main track. Capital Airport Express trains sets are lighter than subway cars with rotary motors and can reach a top speed of 110 km/h (68 mph).
There will be 6 fully automated lines at the level of GoA4, including 2 lines in operation (the Yanfang line and the Daxing Airport Express) and 4 lines under construction (Line 3, Line 12, Line 17 and Line 19), using domestically developed communications-based train control systems.
The subway was proposed in September 1953 by the city's planning committee and experts from the Soviet Union. After the end of the Korean War, Chinese leaders turned their attention to domestic reconstruction. They were keen to expand Beijing's mass transit capacity but also valued the subway as an asset for civil defense. They studied the use of the Moscow Metro to protect civilians, move troops and headquarter military command posts during the Battle of Moscow, and planned the Beijing Subway for both civilian and military use.
The Chinese lacked expertise in building subways and drew heavily on Soviet and East German technical assistance. In 1954, a delegation of Soviet engineers, including some who had built the Moscow Metro, was invited to plan the subway in Beijing. From 1953 to 1960, several thousand Chinese students were sent to the Soviet Union to study subway construction. An early plan unveiled in 1957 called for one ring route and six other lines with 114 stations and 172 km (107 mi) of track. Two routes vied for the first to be built. One ran east–west from Wukesong to Hongmiao, underneath Changan Avenue. The other ran north–south from the Summer Palace to Zhongshan Park, via Xizhimen and Xisi. The former was chosen due to more favorable geological foundation and greater number of government bureaus served. The second route would not be built until construction on Line 4 began forty years later.
The original proposal called for deep subway tunnels that can better serve military functions. Between Gongzhufen and Muxidi, shafts as deep as 120 m (390 ft) were being dug. The world's deepest subway station at the time in the Kyiv Metro was only 100 m (330 ft) deep. But Beijing's high water table and high pressure head of ground water which complicated construction and posed risk of leakage, and along with the inconvenience of transporting passengers long distances from the surface, led the authorities to abandon the deep tunnel plan in May 1960 in favor of cut-and-cover shallow tunnels some 20 m (66 ft) below the surface.
The deterioration of relations between China and Soviet Union disrupted subway planning. Soviet experts began to leave in 1960, and were completely withdrawn by 1963. In 1961, the entire project was halted temporarily due to severe hardships caused by the Great Leap Forward. Eventually, planning work resumed. The route of the initial line was shifted westward to create an underground conduit to move personnel from the heart of the capital to the Western Hills. On February 4, 1965, Chairman Mao Zedong personally approved the project.
1965–1981: the slow beginning
Construction began on July 1, 1965, at a ceremony attended by national leaders including Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping, and mayor Peng Zhen. The most controversial outcome of the initial subway line was the demolition of the Beijing's historic inner city wall to make way for the subway. Construction plans for the subway from Fuxingmen to the Beijing Railway Station called for the removal of the wall, as well as the gates and archery towers at Hepingmen, Qianmen, and Chongwenmen. Leading architect Liang Sicheng argued for protecting the wall as a landmark of the ancient capital. Chairman Mao favored demolishing the wall over demolishing homes. In the end, Premier Zhou Enlai managed to preserve several walls and gates, such as the Qianmen gate and its arrow tower by slightly altering the course of the subway.
The initial line was completed and began trial operations in time to mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic on October 1, 1969. It ran 21 km (13 mi) from Gucheng to the Beijing Railway Station and had 16 stations. This line forms parts of present-day Lines 1 and 2. It was the first subway to be built in China, and predates the metros of Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., but technical problems would plague the project for the next decade.
Initially, the subway hosted guest visits. On November 11, 1969, an electrical fire killed three people, injured over 100 and destroyed two cars. Premier Zhou Enlai placed the subway under the control of the People's Liberation Army in early 1970, but reliability problems persisted.
On January 15, 1971, the initial line began operation on a trial basis between the Beijing railway station and Gongzhufen. Single ride fare was set at ¥0.10 and only members of the public with credential letters from their work units could purchase tickets. The line was 10.7 km (6.6 mi) in length, had 10 stations and operated more than 60 train trips per day with a minimum wait time of 14 minutes. On August 15, the initial line was extended to Yuquan Lu and had 13 stations over 15.6 km (9.7 mi). On November 7, the line was extended again, to Gucheng Lu, and had 16 stations over 22.87 km (14.21 mi). The number of trains per day rose to 100. Overall, the line delivered 8.28 million rides in 1971, averaging 28,000 riders per day.
From 1971 to 1975, the subway was shut down for 398 days for political reasons.[h] On December 27, 1972, the riders no longer needed to present credential letters to purchase tickets. In 1972, the subway delivered 15 million rides and averaged 41,000 riders per day. In 1973, the line was extended to Pingguo Yuan and reached 23.6 km (14.7 mi) in length with 17 stations and 132 train trips per day. The line delivered 11 million rides in 1973, averaging 54,000 riders per day.
Despite its return to civilian control in 1976, the subway remained prone to closures due to fires, flooding, and accidents. Annual ridership grew from 22.2 million in 1976 and 28.4 million in 1977 to 30.9 million in 1978, and 55.2 million in 1980.
1981–2000: two lines for two decades
On April 20, 1981, the Beijing Subway Company, then a subsidiary of the Beijing Public Transportation Company, was organized to take over subway operations. On September 15, 1981, the initial line passed its final inspections, and was handed over to the Beijing Subway Company, ending a decade of trial operations. It had 19 stations and ran 27.6 kilometres (17.1 miles) from Fushouling in the Western Hills to the Beijing railway station. Investment in the project totaled ¥706 million. Annual ridership rose from 64.7 million in 1981 and 72.5 million in 1982 to 82 million in 1983.
On September 20, 1984, a second line was opened to the public. This horseshoe-shaped line was created from the eastern half of the initial line and corresponds to the southern half of the present-day Line 2. It ran 16.1 km (10.0 mi) from Fuxing Men to Jianguo Men with 16 stations. Ridership reached 105 million in 1985.
On December 28, 1987, the two existing lines were reconfigured into Lines 1, which ran from Pingguoyuan to Fuxingmen and Line 2, in its current loop, tracing the Ming city wall. Fares doubled to ¥0.20 for single-line rides and ¥0.30 for rides with transfers. Ridership reached 307 million in 1988. The subway was closed from June 3–4, 1989 during the suppression of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations. In 1990, the subway carried more than one million riders per day for the first time, as total ridership reached 381 million. After a fare hike to ¥0.50 in 1991, annual ridership declined slightly to 371 million.
On January 26, 1991, planning began on the eastward extension of Line 1 under Chang'an Avenue from Fuxingmen. The project was funded by a 19.2 billion yen low-interest development assistance loan from Japan. Construction began on the eastern extension on June 24, 1992, and the Xidan station opened on December 12, 1992. The remaining extension to Sihui Dong (E) was completed on September 28, 1999. National leaders Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Yu Zhengsheng and mayor Liu Qi were on hand to mark the occasion. The full-length of Line 1 became operational on June 28, 2000.
Despite little track expansion in the early 1990s, ridership grew rapidly to reach a record high of 558 million in 1995, but fell to 444 million the next year when fares rose from ¥0.50 to ¥2.00. After fares rose again to ¥3.00 in 2000, annual ridership fell to 434 million from 481 million in 1999.
2001–2008: planning for the Olympics
In the summer of 2001, the city won the bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics and accelerated plans to expand the subway. From 2002 to 2008, the city planned to invest ¥63.8 billion (US$7.69 billion) in subway projects and build an ambitious "three ring, four horizontal, five vertical and seven radial" subway network. Work on Line 5 had already begun on September 25, 2000. Land clearing for Lines 4 and 10 began in November 2003 and construction commenced by the end of the year. Most new subway construction projects were funded by loans from the Big Four state banks. Line 4 was funded by the Beijing MTR Corporation, a joint-venture with the Hong Kong MTR. To achieve plans for 19 lines and 561 km (349 mi) by 2015, the city planned to invest a total of ¥200 billion ($29.2 billion).
The next additions to the subway were surface commuter lines that linked to the north and east of the city. Line 13, a half loop that links the northern suburbs, first opened on the western half from Huilongguan to Xizhimen on September 28, 2002 and the entire line became operational on January 28, 2003. Batong line, built as an extension to Line 1 to Tongzhou District, was opened as a separate line on December 27, 2003. Work on these two lines had begun respectively in December 1999 and 2000. Ridership hit 607 million in 2004.
Line 5 came into operation on October 7, 2007. It was the city's first north–south line, extending from Songjiazhuang in the south to Tiantong Yuan in the north. On the same day, subway fares were reduced from between ¥3 and ¥7 per trip, depending on the line and number of transfers, to a single flat fare of ¥2 with unlimited transfers. The lower fare policy caused the Beijing Subway to run a deficit of ¥600 million in 2007, which was expected to widen to ¥1 billion in 2008. The Beijing municipal government covered these deficits to encourage mass transit use, and reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. On a total of 655 million rides delivered in 2007, the government's subsidy averaged ¥0.92 per ride.
Each of the four original stations on the Olympic Branch Line (Line 8) has a unique interior decor style. (Pictured: Forest Park South Gate)
In the summer of 2008, in anticipation of the Summer Olympic Games, three new lines—Line 10 (Phase 1), Line 8 (Phase 1) and the Capital Airport Express—opened on July 19. The use of paper tickets, hand checked by clerks for 38 years, was discontinued and replaced by electronic tickets that are scanned by automatic fare collection machines upon entry and exit of the subway. Stations are outfitted with touch screen vending machines that sell single-ride tickets and multiple-ride Yikatong fare cards. The subway operated throughout the night from Aug. 8-9, 2008 to accommodate the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games, and is extending evening operations of all lines by one to three hours (to 1-2 a.m.) through the duration of the Games. The subway set a daily ridership record of 4.92 million on August 22, 2008, the day of the Games' closing ceremony. In 2008, total ridership rose by 75% to 1.2 billion.
2008–present: rapid expansion
After the Chinese government announced a ¥4 trillion economic stimulus package in November 2008, the Beijing urban planning commission further expedited subway building plans, especially for elevated lines to suburban districts that are cheaper to build. In December 2008, the commission moved completion dates of the Yizhuang and Daxing Lines to 2010 from 2012, finalized the route of the Fangshan Line, and unveiled the Changping and Xijiao Lines.
Line 4 started operation on September 28, 2009, bringing subway service to much of western Beijing. It is managed by the MTR Corporation through a joint venture with the city. In 2009, the subway delivered 1.457 billion rides, 19.24% of mass transit trips in Beijing.
In 2010, Beijing's worsening traffic congestion prompted city planners to move the construction of several lines from the 13th Five Year Plan to the 12th Five Year Plan. This meant Lines 8 (Phase III), Line 3, Line 12, Line 16, the Yanfang line, as well as additional lines to Changping District and Tiantongyuan were to begin construction before 2015. Previously, Lines 3, 12 and 16 were being planned for the more distant future. On December 30, 2010, five suburban lines: Lines 15 (Phase I from Wangjing Xi (W) to Houshayu except Wangjing East station), Changping, Fangshan (except Guogongzhuang station), Yizhuang (except Yizhuang railway station), and Daxing, commenced operation. The addition of 108 km (67 mi) of track, a nearly 50% increase, made the subway the fourth longest metro in the world. One year later, on December 31, 2011, the subway surpassed the New York City Subway to become the third longest metro in revenue track length with the extension of Line 8 north from the Forest Park South Gate to Huilongguan Dongdajie, the opening of Line 9 in southwest Beijing from Beijing West railway station to Guogongzhuang (except Fengtai Dongdajie, which opened on October 12, 2012), the extension of the Fangshan Line to Guogongzhuang, and the extension of Line 15 from Houshayu to Fengbo in central Shunyi. In the same year, the Beijing government unveiled an ambitious expansion plan envisioning the subway network to reach a track density of 0.51 km per km2 (0.82 mi per sq. mi.) inside the Fifth Ring Road where residents would on average have to walk 1 km (0.62 mi) to the nearest subway station. Ridership reached 2.18 billion in 2011.
In February 2012, the city government confirmed that Lines Line 3, Line 12, Line 17, and Line 19 were under planning as part of Phase II expansion. Retroactively implying that the original three ring, four horizontal, five vertical and seven radial plan was part of Phase I expansion. Line 17 was planned to run north–south, parallel and to the east of Line 5, from Future Science Park North to Yizhuang Zhanqianqu South. Line 19 was planned to run north–south, from Mudanyuan to Xin'gong.
On December 30, 2012, Line 6 (Phase I from Haidian Wuluju to Caofang), the extension of Line 8 from Beitucheng south to Gulou Dajie (except Andeli Beijie), the remainder of Line 9 (except Military Museum station) and the remainder of the Line 10 loop (except the Xiju-Shoujingmao section and Jiaomen East station) entered service. The addition of 69.8 km (43 mi) of track increased the network length to 442 km (275 mi) and allowed the subway to overtake the Shanghai Metro, for several months, as the world's longest metro. The subway delivered 2.46 billion rides in 2012.
On May 5, 2013, the Line 10 loop was completed with the opening of the Xiju-Shoujingmao section and the Jiaomen East Station. The 57 km (35 mi) loop line became the longest underground subway loop in the world. On the same day, the first section of Line 14 from Zhangguozhuang to Xiju also entered operation, ahead of the opening of the Ninth China International Garden Expo in Fengtai District. The subway's total length reached 456 km (283 mi). On December 28, 2013, two sections were added to Line 8, which extended the line north to Zhuxinzhuang and south to Nanluoguxiang. In 2013, the subway delivered 3.209 billion rides, an increase of 30% from the year before.
On December 28, 2014, the subway network expanded by 62.2 km (38.6 mi) to 18 lines and 527 km (327 mi) with the opening of Line 7, the eastern extension of line 6 (from Caofang to Lucheng), the eastern section of line 14 (from Jintai Lu to Shangezhuang), and the western extension of line 15 (from Wangjing Xi (W) to Qinghua Donglu Xikou). At the same time, the ¥2 flat-rate fare was replaced with a variable-rate fare (a minimum of ¥3), to cover operation costs. In 2014, the subway delivered 3.387 billion rides, an increase of 5.68% from the year before. Average daily and weekday ridership also set new highs of 9.2786 million and 10.0876 million, respectively.
From 2007 to 2014, the cost of subway construction in Beijing rose sharply from ¥0.571 billion per km to ¥1.007 billion per km. The cost includes land acquisition, compensation to relocate residents and firms, actual construction costs and equipment purchase. In 2014, city budgeted ¥15.5 billion for subway construction, and the remainder of subway building costs was financed by the Beijing Infrastructure Investment Co. LTD, a city-owned investment firm.
On December 26, 2015, the subway network expanded to 554 km (344 mi) with the opening of the section of Line 14 from Beijing South railway station to Jintai Lu (11 stations; 16.6 km (10.3 mi)), Phase II of the Changping line from Nanshao to Changping Xishankou (5 stations; 10.6 km or 6.6 mi), Andelibeijie station on Line 8, and Datunlu East station on Line 15. Ridership in 2015 fell by 4% to 3.25 billion due to a fare increase from a flat fare back to a distance based fare.
With the near completion of the three ring, four horizontal, five vertical and seven radial subway network, work began on Phase II expansion projects. These new extensions and lines will be operational in 2019~2021. On December 9, 2016, construction started on 126 km (78 mi) of new line with the southern extension of Batong Line, the southern extension of Changping line, the Pinggu line, phase one of the New Airport line, and Line 3 Phase I breaking ground. The northern section of Line 16 opened on December 31, 2016. Ridership reached a new high of 3.66 billion. On December 30, 2017, a one-station extension of Fangshan Line (Suzhuang – Yancun East), Yanfang line, Xijiao line and S1 line (Shichang – Jin'anqiao) opened. On December 30, 2018, the western extension of Line 6 (Jin'anqiao – Haidian Wuluju), the South section of Line 8 (Zhushikou – Yinghai), a one-station extension on Line 8 North section (Nanluoguxiang – National Art Museum), a one-station extension on Yizhuang line (Ciqu – Yizhuang Railway Station) was opened. On September 26, 2019, the Daxing Airport Express (Phase 1) was opened. On December 28, 2019, the eastern extension of Line 7 (Jiaohuachang-Huazhuang) and the southern extension of Batong line (Tuqiao-Huazhuang) opened.
On January 24, 2020, the day after the lock down was declared in the city of Wuhan to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, the Beijing Subway began testing body temperature of passengers at the 55 subway stations including the three main railway stations and capital Airport. Temperature checks expanded to all subway stations by January 27.
On April 4, 2020, at 10:00am, Beijing Subway trains joined in China's national mourning of lives lost in the COVID-19 pandemic, by stopping for three minutes and sounding their horns three times, as conductors and passengers stood in silence. To control the spread of COVID-19, certain Line 6 trains were outfitted with smart surveillance cameras that can detect passengers not wearing masks.
On December 31, 2020, the middle section of line 16 (Xi Yuan-Ganjia Kou), the northern section of the Fangshan line (Guogongzhuang-Dongguantou Nan(S)), and the Yizhuang T1 line tram entered operation.
|Source: 北京地铁大事记回顾 1965-2006 • 北京市2010年暨"十一五"期间国民经济和社会发展统计公报 • 北京市2011年国民经济和社会发展统计公报 • 北京市2012年国民经济和社会发展统计公报 • 北京市2013年国民经济和社会发展统计公报 •  • 北京市2015年暨“十二五”时期国民经济和社会发展统计公报 •  •  • |
With new lines drawing more riders to the network, the subway has experienced severe overcrowding, especially during the rush hour. Since 2015, significant sections of Lines 1, 4 – Daxing, 5, 10, 13, Batong and Changping are officially over capacity during rush hour. By 2019, Lines 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 10 all have daily weekday ridership's of over 1 million passengers a day each. In short term response, the subway upgraded electrical, signal and yard equipment to increase the frequency of trains to add additional capacity. Peak headways has been reduced to 1 min. 43 sec. on Line 4; 1 min. 45 sec. on Lines 5 and 10; 2 min. on Lines 1, 2, 6 and 13; 2 min. and 35 sec. on Line 15; 3 min. on Batong; 3 min. 30 sec. on Line 8; and 15 min. on the Airport Express. The Beijing Subway is investigating the feasibility of reducing headways of Line 10 down to 1 min 40 seconds.
Lines 13 and Batong have converted 4-car to 6-car trains. Lines 6 and 7 have longer platforms that can accommodate 8-car type B trains, while lines 14 and 16 uses higher capacity wide-body type A trains. New lines that cross the city center such as Lines 3, 12, 17 and 19, now under construction, will adopt high capacity 8-car type A trains with a 70 percent increase in capacity over older lines using 6 car type B. When completed these lines are expected to greatly relieve overcrowding in the existing network.
Despite these efforts, during the morning rush hour, conductors at line terminals and other busy stations must routinely restrict the number of passengers who can board each train to prevent the train from becoming too crowded for passengers waiting at other stations down the line. Some of these stations have built queuing lines outside the stations to manage the flow of waiting passengers. As of August 31, 2011, 25 stations mainly on Lines 1, 5, 13, and Batong have imposed such restrictions. By January 7, 2013, 41 stations on Lines 1, 2, 5, 13, Batong, and Changping had instituted passenger flow restrictions during the morning rush hour. The number of stations with passenger flow restrictions reached 110 in January 2019, affecting all lines except Lines 15, 16, Fangshan, Yanfang and S1. Lines 4, 5, 10 and 13 strategically run several empty train runs during rush hour bound for specific stations help clear busy station queues. Counter peak flow express trains started operating on Line 15, Changping and Batong to minimize line runtimes and allow the existing fleet size to serve more passengers during peak periods. Additionally, investigations are being carried out on Line 15 and Yizhuang for upgrading to 120 km/h operations.
Interchange stations that permit transfers across two or more subway lines receive heavy traffic passenger flow. The older interchange stations are known for lengthy transfer corridors and slow transfers during peak hours. The average transfer distance at older interchange stations is 128 m (420 ft) The transfer between Lines 2 and 13 at Xizhimen was over 200 m (660 ft) long and required 15 minutes to complete during rush hours. In 2011, this station was rebuilt to reduce the transfer distance. There are plans to rebuild other interchange stations such as Dongzhimen.
In newer interchange stations, which are designed to permit more efficient transfers, the average transfer distance is 63 m (207 ft). Many of the newer interchange stations including Guogongzhuang (Lines 9 and Fangshan), Nanluoguxiang (Lines 8 and 6), Zhuxinzhuang (Changping and Line 8), Beijing West railway station (Lines 9 and 7), National Library (Lines 9 and 4), Yancun East (Fangshan Line and Yanfang Line) feature cross platform transfers. Nevertheless, longer transfer corridors must still be used when the alignment of the lines do not permit cross-platform transfer. The transfer corridors between Lines 1 and 9 at the Military Museum, which opened on December 23, 2013, are 160 m (520 ft) in one direction and just under 300 m (980 ft) in the other.
Cellular network coverage
Mobile phones can currently be used throughout.
Each station is equipped with ramps, lifts, or elevators to facilitate wheelchair access. Newer model train cars now provide space to accommodate wheelchairs. Automated audio announcements for incoming trains are available in all lines. On all lines, station names are announced in Mandarin Chinese and English. Under subway regulations, riders with mobility limitations may obtain assistance from subway staff to enter and exit stations and trains, and visually impaired riders may bring assistance devices and guide dogs into the subway.
Information hotline and app
The Beijing Subway telephone hotline was initiated on the eve of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games to provide traveler information, receive complaints and suggestions, and file lost and found reports. The hotline combined the nine public service telephones of various subway departments. On December 29, 2013, the hotline number was switched from (010)-6834-5678 to (010)-96165 for abbreviated dialing. In December 2014, the hotline began offering fare information, as the subway switched to distance-based fare. The hotline has staffed service from 5 am to midnight and has automated service during unstaffed hours.
The Beijing Subway has an official mobile application and a number of third-party apps.
Automatic fare collection
To ensure public safety during the 2008 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, the subway initiated a three-month heightened security program from June 29 to September 20, 2008. Riders were subject to searches of their persons and belongings at all stations by security inspectors using metal detectors, X-Ray machines and sniffer dogs. Items banned from public transportation such as "guns, ammunition, knives, explosives, flammable and radioactive materials, and toxic chemicals" were subject to confiscation. The security program was reinstituted during the 2009 New Year Holiday and has since been made permanent through regulations enacted in February 2009.
After witnessing several serious subway accidents in South Korea (e.g. Daegu subway fire in February 2003), the subway removed all shops and vendors from the inside of stations and installed self-illuminating exit signs to facilitate emergency evacuation. The popular underground mall at Xidan station was closed.
Accidents and incidents
The subway was plagued by numerous accidents in its early years, including a fire in 1969 that killed six people and injured over 200. But its operations have improved dramatically and there have been few reported accidents in recent years. Most of the reported fatalities on the subway are the result of suicides. Authorities have responded by installing doors on platforms of newer lines.
On October 8, 2003, the collapse of steel beams at the construction site of Line 5's Chongwenmen station killed three workers and injured one. On March 29, 2007, the construction site at the Suzhoujie station on Line 10 collapsed, burying six workers. On June 6, 2008, prior to the opening of Line 10, a worker was crushed to death inside an escalator in Zhichunlu station when an intern turned on the moving staircase. On July 14, 2010, two workers were killed and eight were injured at the construction site of Line 15's Shunyi station when the steel support structure collapsed on them. On September 17, 2010, Line 9 tunnels under construction beneath Yuyuantan Lake were flooded, killing one worker. A city official who oversaw waterworks contracts at the site was convicted of corruption and given a death sentence with reprieve. On June 1, 2011, one worker was killed when a section of Line 6 under construction in Xicheng District near Ping'anli collapsed. A collapse of an escalator at the Beijing Zoo Station on July 5, 2011, caused the death of one 13-year-old boy and injuries to 28 others.
On May 4, 2013, a train derailed when it overran a section of track on Line 4. The section was not open to the public and was undergoing testing. There were no injuries.
On November 6, 2014, a woman was killed when she tried to board the train at Huixinxijie Nankou station on Beijing Subway's Line 5. She became trapped between the train door and the platform edge door and was crushed to death by the departing train. The accident happened on the second day of APEC China 2014 meetings in the city during which the municipal government has banned cars from the roads on alternate days to ease congestion and reduce pollution during the summit – measures which the capital's transport authorities have estimated would lead to an extra one million passengers on the subway every day.
The subway's logo, a capital letter "G" encircling a capital letter "D" with the letter "B" silhouetted inside the letter D, was designed by Zhang Lide, a subway employee, and officially designated in April 1984. The letters B, G, and D form the pinyin abbreviation for "北京高速电车" (pinyin: Běijīng gāosù diànchē; lit. 'Beijing high-speed electric carriage').
Subway Culture Park
The Beijing Subway Culture Park, located near Xihongmen in Daxing District, opened in 2010 to commemorate the 40-year history of the Beijing Subway. The 19 ha (47 acres) park was built using dirt and debris removed from the construction of the Daxing Line and contains old rolling stock, sculpture, and informational displays. Admission to the park is free.
Beijing Suburban Railway
The Beijing Suburban Railway, a suburban commuter train service, is managed separately from the Beijing Subway. The two systems, although complementary, are not related to each other operationally. Beijing Suburban Railway is operated by the China Railway Beijing Group.
- Transfer stations are counted more than once. There are 64 transfer stations (4 of them are 3-Line transfer stations, 60 of them are 2-Line transfer stations). If transfer stations are counted only once, the result will be 360 stations.
- Through operation of Line 1 and Batong line started on August 29, 2021.
- With the opening of the Daxing Line on December 30, 2010 the Beijing MTR Corporation operates service on Lines 4 and Daxing as follows:
** A service that covers both lines, from Anheqiao Bei (N), the northern terminus of Line 4, to Tiangong Yuan, the southern terminus of the Daxing Line.
** A service that covers Line 4 plus one stop on the Daxing Line, from Anheqiao Bei (N) to Xin Gong, the northernmost stop on the Daxing Line. Travelers wishing to proceed further south on the Daxing Line have to switch to a south-bound full-route train.
- The following stations haven't been opened and not included in the station count: Pingguoyuan, Erligou and Tongyunmen on Line 6; Dahongmen on Line 8 (South section); Taoranqiao and Gaojiayuan on Line 14 (East section).
- Currently, Line 8 has two sections in operation—from Zhuxinzhuang to National Art Museum in the north and Zhushikou to Yinghai in the south. The two sections operate separately but will eventually be connected and is therefore counted as a single line.
- Currently, Line 14 has two sections in operation—from Zhangguozhuang to Xiju in the west and Beijing South Railway Station to Shangezhuang in the east. The two sections operate separately but will eventually be connected and is therefore counted as a single line.
- There is no subway stop at the 12th gate, Deshengmen, between Jishuitan and Gulou Dajie.
- From August 12, 1973, to June 30, 1974, and in January 1975, the subway was closed due to defense mobilization. It was closed from September 13 to November 6, 1971, in the aftermath of the Lin Biao incident and on September 18, 1976, after the death of Chairman Mao.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Beijing Subway (category)|
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