Fast, efficient, modern, and ever-growing are just a few terms that could be used to describe the Beijing subway system.
That being said, it is still slightly behind when compared to the subway systems of other major cities around the world. However, with its non-stop expansion, and with the projections for the Beijing subway in 2010, it looks like things are soon to change.
The subway, comprised of 8 lines (three of which are scheduled to open by the end of July 2008, one of which is a direct line to Beijing Capital Airport), is convenient and runs, for the most part, very efficiently with trains coming through every 3-5 minutes. Trains start everyday at around 5:35 am and the last trains leave around 10:55 pm.
Ticket prices are very reasonable, reduced form 3 - 5 RMB to a flat rate of 2 RMB in 2007 to encourage more people to ride the subway and take pressure off Beijing’s already overcrowded roads. The fare of the Airport Express line will cost 25 RMB. In June 2008 all paper tickets were phased out. Single fare electronic tickets can now be purchased at each station from a machine. There is also a very useful IC card available which can be credited with as much as desired, saving valuable time not queuing at the ticket desk. IC cards can be bought at ticket desks for a deposit charge of 20 RMB.
The most commonly used subway lines are 1 and 2 due to the fact that their stations are located near a number of major shopping and business locations throughout the city, with some stations actually built inside of shopping malls for the ultimate in convenience. Many of Beijing’s tourist attractions can also be found on these two lines, such as Tian’anmen, the Forbidden City, the Lama Temple, and the Temple of Heaven.
Link: Official Beijing Subway Website…
Link: Beijing Subway Map…