108 cities in China took part in World Car Free Day on Saturday to promote environmentally-friendly transport and ease increasingly grid-locked city streets. It's a highlight of a nationwide urban public transport week. People were urged to take public transport, ride bikes or walk.
Traffic on the move.
This was the scene on some downtown streets in Beijing where private cars were banned on car free day.
To help out, more than 200 new buses took to the streets. And the Beijing Subway laid on 10 more trains for rush hour.
A Beijing resident said "Today is car free day, and I do find the traffic much better and the bus can go much faster."
Another resident said "I spent only half an hour to go to work. It took me twice as long before. Plus I can find seat on the bus today."
But in some areas not signed up for traffic control, endless lines of cars can still be seen.
Some people say they just can't do without their cars.
Another Beijing resident said "Some people are willing to give up driving, but on certain days when I have to take my child to school or weekend classes,the public transport is so bad that I can't do it without a car."
But the concept of "green" traffic is catching on. People say they believe it's the first and honest step in facing the serious traffic and environmental problems.
A driver said "The car free day has very important symbolic meaning. It does not mean that we must give up cars. It is to promote a concept, to encourage more people to contribute to the protection of the environment."
The Ministry of Construction calculates "Car Free Day" will cut 3000 tons of emissions and save 33 million liters of gasoline. And it's planning more frequent activities to raise public awareness of energy conservation and environmental protection.