Chinese authorities have approved a plan to promote transportation integration in the greater Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
The move aims to turn five cities in the region into national traffic hubs and build a one-hour commuters' circle around Beijing.
The plan, approved by the State Council, is expected to relive traffic pressure in the capital city.
Ren Hong, a senior official from the National Development and Reform Commission explains how the new project helps commuters save travel time.
"It takes one hour for commuters to travel between downtown areas of Beijing, Tianjin, and Shi Jiazhuang, the capital city of He Bei, their satellite towns and new urban districts. The commuting time between cities are also cut within one and a half hour. It aims to turn Beijing, Tianjin, Shi Jiazhuang, Tang Shan and Qin Huangdao in to national transport hubs. The newly-built hubs will help shorten transfer times to no more than 10 minutes. "
Beijing has issued its first-ever red alert for smog and on Tuesday rolled out its emergency response plan to tackle the severe air pollution.
Other major cities in northern China have also warned residents of terrible air quality.
Yu Shengying, a senior official from the Ministry of Transport, says the promotion of green and low-carbon transport is one of the major tasks of the project.
"In order to develop green, safe and sustainable transport we will strive to develop and promote the new-energy cars which are clean and energy-saving. New technology, and renewable materials will be used for road constructions. Various traffic policies including the car registration policies, traffic regulations, vehicle emission standards, and the quality of oils will be unified in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. "
Yu adds that the project is expected adopt new investment and financing methods, attracting social capital to take part in major infrastructure construction.
"we will promote the Public-Private-Partnership in infrastructure construction and encourage policy-based financial institutions to take the lead to attract social capitals to join infrastructure construction." The traffic project is also seen as a first major step for promoting the integration of the Beijing- Tianjin-Hebei region.