Though there were no reports of road rage violence, drivers complained about price-gouging by villagers who were their only source of food and water. A bottle of water that normally costs 1 yuan (15 cents) was selling for 10 yuan ($1.50), while the price of a 3 yuan- (45 cent-) cup of instant noodles had more than tripled, media reports said.
Guo Jifu, head of the Beijing Transportation Research Center, said the number of vehicles on the road increased by 1,900 per day on average in the first half year. If the growth rate continued, the total number of vehicles would hit 7 million by 2015.
Shanghai caps the number of new private car registrations annually, auctions auto registrations, limits parking, and makes it difficult to obtain a driver’s license. The city is considering a plan to charge cars for entering the central business district, as now exists in London. Shanghai’s more restrictive policies have led to a slower rate of car growth. With about the same population and wealth as Beijing, Shanghai residents own only one car for every six in Beijing.
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