(CRI-report) -The development of urban rail transit solves the contradiction between distance and time for long-distance transport in working life. In addition, it improves the life quality of residents and promotes the formation of rational layout of cities. In China’s history, the first urban rail transit was built in Nanjing in the 1930s, which was dismantled for various reasons later after the PRC was established. The first urban rail transit (subway) in the PRC history was established in Beijing in the 1960s. After the reform and opening up, especially since the 21st century, the pace of China’s urban rail transit construction accelerates. From 2002 to the end of 2012, the number of cities with urban rail transit operation lines increased from 5 to 15 in China. By the end of 2012, the operation line length of urban rail transit established and in operation is over 1,700 km in China.
The experience of developed countries shows that, the track transit is an effective way to solve the urban traffic congestion, which also improves the living environment of citizens. On one hand, the development of track transit leads to the continuous expansion of city limits. Because of the construction of track transit, people will gather in peri-urban areas where the original population density is relatively low, and the real estate market and various commercial service facilities are constantly improved thereby. On the other hand, with the improvement in urban track transit facilities, it is more convenient for residents living in urban areas to reach suburbs and enjoy the quiet suburban life and natural environment; it is easier for people living in suburbs to arrive at the downtown and enjoy various public cultural and commercial facilities such as stadiums, libraries and shopping malls.
In the context of continuously accelerated urbanization pace in China currently, quickening the construction of rail transit will be conducive to speeding up this process. For example, in September 2012, Shanghai announced to establish the Jinshan Railway which connects the downtown with Jinshan suburbs, with a total length of 56 km. Known as city-region railway, the speed (160 km/h) of this novel traffic mode is between that of high-speed rail (250 km/h) and subway (with the highest of 80 km/h). It can connect with trunk lines of the national railway as well as transfer to the subway, playing an excellent role in improving the urban rail transit network and enriching traffic ways of citizens.
As the critical infrastructure, the construction of urban rail transit needs sustainably massive investment. According to relevant estimates, every CNY 100-million investment in this field will drive the GDP to increase by about CNY 260 million and bring out thousands of jobs, possessing very obvious boost effects on economic development. In addition, indirect effects on the economic and social development are immeasurable. For example, it can reduce the land occupation, lessen environmental pollution and fully utilize underground space.
By the end of 2012, the Chinese government has approved the short-term construction planning of 34 cities, which aggregately includes 177 projects, 141 lines, 4,382-kilometer mileage and CNY 2-trillion investments. It is expected that by 2020, there will be nearly 50 cities developing rail transit in China, and the total network scale will be over 7,000 km, covering major cities in China. As for infrastructure, equipment manufacture and operation enterprises, there are many investment opportunities in China’s urban rail transit industry.