Hangzhou going green on public transport

World Today

Hangzhou going green on public transport

Hangzhou’s public transport networks have become much more environment-friendly in recent years with more energy-efficient buses and more subway lines available in the city. It also has an urban public-bicycle system which sets the national standard.

CCTV’s Xing Zheming reports on how this “green” traffic system is benefiting the city.

China’s domestic e-buses have a range of about 200 kilometers (124 miles) after an overnight charge, which is plenty for a full day of service. And the buses only consume about 120 kilowatt-hours of electricity per 100 kilometers.

Meanwhile, a trial program with Alibaba’s e-payment service “Alipay” is allowing passengers to pay for their rides with their smart-phones. It is China’s first go at electronic payments on buses.

For tourists or those who don’t have cash at hand, what they need is a QR code on their phones, and they can get on the bus by scanning the code.

“Passengers benefit the most from mobile payment,” said Weng Jun, Hangzhou Bus Group’s deputy general manager. “We have the confidence to expand such a system to more bus lines, especially those very busy lines during rush hours.”

“We hope to bring people more ‘small but nice’ changes in their daily lives,” added Zhang Wei, product director of public services department at Ant Financial. “We specifically designed this system for bus payment services, by combining software and hardware. We are also working to make mobile payment possible for subway services.”

Hangzhou also has a public bike system that’s admired all around the country. There are thousands of service stations around the city, many of which are in close proximity to bus and subway stations, as well as popular attractions.

“Every day, we provide an average of 310,000 bike rides, 96 percent are for free,” said Wu Guoxiong, deputy general manager at Hangzhou Public Bicycle Company. “In Hangzhou, you can borrow a public bicycle free of charge if you return it in one hour.”

Hangzhou has invested a lot of efforts to make this system work as intended, and it seems to be paying off. What’s more, bikers can pay for the use of the bikes through WeChat or Alipay.