BEIJING, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Beijing on Monday unveiled a package of measures to curb vehicle emissions over the next five years as part of the capital's increasing efforts to improve air quality in the city.
The package is part of an action plan released by the municipal government, which has pledged to reduce PM 2.5 density by 25 percent or more by 2017.
According to the package, the municipal government will restrict the number of new cars on the road each year from January 2014.
By 2017, the number of vehicles in the city is expected to be no more than six million, according to the package. Statistics from Beijing Traffic Management Bureau show the city had 5.35 million vehicles by the end of July.
By promoting new energy and small displacement vehicles, reducing intensity of vehicle use and strictly enforcing regulations, the government expects to reduce total vehicle fuel consumption by 5 percent or more compared to 2012.
The city's traffic management and environmental protection bureaus will prepare traffic control rules for passenger cars by the end of 2013 which will mainly focus on time and zone restrictions. The rules are aimed to be implemented in 2014.
In addition, vehicles from other cities will be subject to more time and area restrictions from 2014 at the earliest.
The municipal government has also vowed to cover downtown areas with at least 480 km of bus lanes and introduce a public bicycle rental system by 2017 in order to make public transportation 60 percent of total vehicle trips made in the city.
According to the plan, air quality will improve significantly by 2017, with PM 2.5 density controlled to around 60 micrograms per cubic meter.
PM 2.5 are airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter which can pose health risks.