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Josh Little

China Transportation Blurb

Transportation in china is rapidly growing. Trains and railways are the primary mode of
transport. The rail system differs from that of ours as maglevs and bullet trains are far more
common and much faster. There are nearly 75,000 miles of railways in china, which is the
second largest rail system in the world. Of that 75,000, about 10,000 miles of it are high speed
rail, making it the largest high speed rail network in the world. It is expected that by 2050 there
will be 170,000 miles of rail in china. The rail system is the busiest in the world. In 2014 there
were 2.4 billion passenger trips. Passengers have a slightly different rail experience in china
compared to that of the US. Passengers are always assigned a seat and only luggage that will fit
above or below the seat can go onboard. There is no luggage car. Standing room only tickets are
also sold and you are not given a seat, you just stand in the aisle the entire ride. There are also
international trains in and out of neighboring countries. Metro trains, subways, and commuter
rails are very common and popular. Trolleybus systems are also evolving as a means of intercity
public transportation.
Motor vehicles are growing in popularity particularly in eastern china, but much of
western china and remote areas still depend on non-motorized transportation. There are only 113
motor vehicles per 1000 people in the country making china number 103 on the list of most
vehicles per 1000 people. Compare that to the USA with an astonishing 809 motor vehicles per
1000 people, making us number 4 on the list. There is significant funding going into growing and
improving the 1.117 million miles of road. Approximately three quarters of the roads remain
unpaved. Some are gravel, some are grated dirt, and some are even just tire tracks. The western
half of the country lacks any highways. There is a growing public transportation bus system in
the larger cities in the east.
Transportation by waterway is very common in mountainous regions where there are few
railways and road access is inconvenient. Bicycle is also very common. There are more
bicyclists than motorists in the country and bikes dominate the roads. Most traffic jams are
caused by bicycles. Electric bicycles make up twenty percent of all two wheeled vehicles in the
country. There are over half a billion bikes in china. That means that there is roughly one bike
for every three people. Since they are so commonly used as transportation, many laws exist for
bicycle riders. Some parts of the country forbid bikes for children under twelve years old.