Transportation in Beijing

Beijing-transportation

Beijing's public transport system is extensive, convenient and reasonably priced. There are also plenty of taxis, and public rental bicycles. Beijing itself is a transportation hub for northern China, making it easy to get to other cities by plane, train or long-distance bus.

 

Beijing Taxi

Beijing taxis are easily identifiable by their livery (yellow and green/blue/maroon). All official taxis should have the driver’s registration displayed on the dashboard on the front passenger side, and will go by the meter. They should print and give you a receipt when you pay.

Flag-down fare: CNY 13 for the first 3 km

Unit (distance) fare: CNY 2.3 per km per additional km over the first 3 km

Low speed / waiting fare: when the speed is less than 12 km/h (due to traffic or at the passenger’s request), an additional fee will be charged. In peak time, this is twice the unit fare (CNY 4.6) every 5 minutes. Off-peak, it is equal to the unit fare (CNY 2.3) for every 5 minutes.

Taxi booking fee: CNY 6 per ride booking over 4 hours in advance; CNY 5 per booking less than 4 h in advance.

Fare for returning empty: for rides over 15 km, if the taxi has to return empty, there may be an additional charge of 50% of the unit fare per km over 15 km.

Night fare: from 23:00-05:00, there is an additional 20% charge of the unit fare per km.

Peak hour are: 07:00-09:00 and 17:00-19:00.

Tolls: passengers are required to pay for any highway tolls.

Taxis at the airport:

1. A taxi from Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital International Airport to downtown Beijing should cost about CNY 130 inclusive of a toll gate fee (CNY 10) and a fuel surcharge (CNY 3). From Terminal 2, it should cost about CNY 120 inclusive of a fuel surcharge (CNY 3).

The Beijing Airport Expressway for Terminal 2 is free of charge into the city, but has a CNY 5 toll when going towards the airport. The Beijing Airport Expressway for Terminal 3 has a CNY 10 toll in both directions.

Taxi call in Beijing

Tel: 96106, 68373399

For taxi complaints:

Tel: 68351150

You can pre-book a taxi with a Beijing taxi company so that your taxi driver can “meet & greet” you, your clients, friends or family at the airport, train stations, hotel, office, home etc.

Beijing Subway

Beijing was the first city in China to build a subway, and now has 16 lines and counting. It can be very crowded at peak times, but is quite comfortable off-peak and is usually the fastest way to get around the city. Stations are clean and well-managed, with signs in English as well as Chinese. Stations on newer lines tend to be more accessible, with elevators / escalators from street to platform. Older stations may have long flights of stairs.

Fares are charged by distance, starting from CNY 3.00 (except the Airport Express, which costs CNY 25). You can buy a transportation card for use throughout Beijing’s public transport system, or individual tickets for each ride if you are only in Beijing a short time.  Children below 1.2 m can go free with an accompanying adult.

Different lines can have slightly different running times. Generally, the first trains depart their terminal at around 5:00 am and the last leave at around 11:00 pm.

Subway Map Beijing Subway Map Click the map to enlarge it.

Subway Ticket subway ticket

Beijing Subway Sign beijing subway sign

Official Website: http://www.bjsubway.com/ (in Chinese)

 

Beijing Bus

Public buses are the cheapest way to get around Beijing, and you can get almost anywhere in Beijing by bus. Fares start from CNY 1.

The most up-to-date information can be found on the official website: http://www.bjbus.com/

Currently, there are over 800 regular bus routes in operation in Beijing, supplied by the buses numbered 1-998. There are also Yuntong buses, which have bus numbers beginning with “运通”. There are also double-decker buses, with numbers beginning with “”, which means “special” in Chinese.

Fares: For most buses in the city centre area, there is a flat fare of CNY 2. You should put the money (note or coin) into the coin box by the door when you get on the bus. If you use a transportation card, the fare is only CNY 1; swipe the card reader by the bus door. Some buses have a distance fare, and these buses usually have a conductor to take your fare and give you a ticket. For all buses, if you are using a transportation card, you should swipe the card again when you get off. For longer distance buses going outwith the city centre  (numbers usually start with “9″), the fares are slightly higher.

Running hours: Buses in the downtown area are usually in operation from 05:30 until to 23:00. Some suburban lines may stop as early as around 18:00. The night lines of 201~215 serve from 23:00 to 04:30 or 05:00.

Transportation Card

If you stay in Beijing for more than a few days, or want to take buses and subway more conveniently, buying a Beijing transportation IC card is highly recommended. A transportation card can also be used to pay for taxis. You can buy them at subway station ticket windows. There is a 50 CNY deposit, which is returnable if you return the card. You can top up the card at any subway station ticket window or at the automatic ticket machines.

Rental Bicycles

There are several companies with fleets of bicycles available to rent for journeys within the city. The two biggest companies are Mobike (bright orange and silver bikes) and Ofo (bright yellow bikes). To use these, you need to download their app onto your phone, set up verification of your ID and pay a security deposit. This requires a Chinese bank account. Once set up, you can unlock any available bike, ride it (CNY 0.5 or CNY 1 per half hour, depending on the bike and the company), then park it at any safe spot near your destination. There are also public bicycles owned by the city; these are white and red. You can use a transportation card to pay for the public bicycles, but this requires activation at a local police station and payment of a security deposit. Public bicycles must be returned to official parking stations.

 

Beijing Railway

There are four railway stations in Beijing: Beijing Railway Station (the oldest), Beijing South Railway Station (high-speed trains), Beijing West Railway Station and Beijing North Railway Station (currently closed for redevelopment). If you take a train to Beijing or you are leaving Beijing by train, make sure you are at the right train station.

Beijing Railway Station

Beijing Railway Station is a top grade national station that serves many lines. There are also international passenger trains that serve the Pyongyang, Ulan Bator and Moscow routes.

Telephone: 86-10-51019999

Getting there: take subway Line 2 to Beijing Railway Station stop, and take exit C (southeast). The railway station is just across the plaza.

 

Beijing West Railway Station

Trains departing from Beijing West leave for destinations in south, southwest and northwest China. There are high-speed trains to Xi’an and other cities in west China, as well as standard trains.

Telephone: 010-63216253, 010-63216263, 010-63216273

Getting there: take Subway Line 9 to Beijing West Railway Station stop. From IHEP, you can also take bus 373 or 941 from the Yuquanlu crossroads. The subway station is underneath the main railway station.

 

Beijing South Railway Station

This station serves many high-speed railway routes, including the Beijing-Tianjin line, the Beijing-Shanghai line and direct trains to Ji’nan and Qingdao, which can reach speeds above 350 km/h. It only takes half an hour to reach Tianjin, and five to reach Shanghai.

Telephone: 86-10-51836272

Getting there: Subway Line 4 or Line 14 to Beijing South Railway Station stop. The subway exits directly into the railway station.

Beijing North Railway Station

Beijing North Railway Station is a small station managed by the Beijing Railway Bureau. It is currently closed for development of a high-speed railway line to serve the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022.

 

Buying flight or train tickets

The simplest way to buy flight or train tickets may be to use a travel agency such as Ctrip (http://english.ctrip.com/). If you are here for a longer stay and invest the time in setting up the necessary documentation, you can register to buy train tickets direct from the official China Railways website at www.12306.cn. You can also buy train tickets from one of the many train ticket booths around the city, or directly at the railway station.