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Public Transport

Fei is waiting for Jerry and is surprised when he arrives on time.

Fei: Jerry! You're here early. What a pleasant surprise! How did you get here so fast?

Jerry: I flew! I just parked my airplane across the street...

Fei: No, seriously. You rarely arrive on time.

Jerry: Today I took the subway instead of the bus. It's really convenient to come to the north of Beijing.

Fei: Yes, the subway is undergoing many improvements. For a long time, there were only two lines - Line Number 1, which goes through Beijing from east to west, and the Loop Line, which goes around the Second Ring Road.

Jerry: But now there's Line 13 which I took today. It goes all around the northern part of the city. And there's an extension of Line 1, which now goes even further to the east.

Fei: In the future, the subway will be even better. The city has plans for a whole network that will cover most of Beijing.

Jerry: That's good to hear! Do you know where the new subway lines will be?

Fei: At least one line will go to the south of Beijing, and one line will go to Beijing University, passing by the Beijing Zoo along the way.

Jerry: Do you think there might be a train to the airport some day?

Fei: Yes, there will be a line connecting Beijing Airport with the Second Ring Road.

Jerry: New subway lines will really help relieve the traffic. The roads in Beijing have become so crowded since I arrived here.

Fei: Actually, the city has other plans for reducing the number of cars on the road. In Chinese, it's called "kuai su gong jiao".

Jerry: Oh, is that a Rapid Transit Bus? Do you think that can really help?

Fei: There is already an experimental rapid bus that goes from Qianmen, just south of Tiananmen Square, to the south of Beijing. I tried it out a couple of weeks ago. It's really fast!

Jerry: How does it work?

Fei: There is a special lane that is ONLY for buses. No cars or bicycles can ever enter this lane, so the bus is free to move along, passing all the cars in the other lanes.

Jerry: So, the people in cars may be stuck in traffic, while the bus moves freely! That's a great idea. I'm sure more and more people will want to take such buses.

Fei: We're going to see so many more changes in Beijing in the coming years. Remember, the 2008 Olympic Games are just around the corner!

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