ⓘ Beijing Subway

Beijing Subway restricted stations

Beyond Pingguoyuan, the terminus that is accessible to the public, there are three other stations on Line 1, Beijing Subway. Gaojing and Heishitou are located in the Beijing Military Region which is part of the Central Theater Command, therefore rendering them inaccessible to the public. Fushouling station will open to public in several years. The renovation for Fushouling station will start in late 2020. The station will also serve the nearby Beijing Banking & Insurance Business Park 北京银行保险产业园.


ⓘ Beijing Subway

The Beijing Subway is the rapid transit system of Beijing Municipality that consists of 23 lines including 19 rapid transit lines, 2 airport rail links, one maglev line and one light rail line. The rail network extends 699.3 km if the Xijiao light rail line were excluded) across 12 urban and suburban districts of Beijing, and has 405 stations. By route length in operation, the Beijing Subway is the worlds longest metro system. With 3.8484 billion trips delivered in 2018, an average of 10.544 million trips per day, the Beijing Subway is the worlds busiest metro system. Single-day ridership set a record of 13.7538 million on July 12, 2019.

The Beijing Subway opened in 1969 and is the oldest metro system in mainland China. Before the system underwent rapid expansion since 2002, the subway had only two lines. The existing network still cannot adequately meet the citys mass transit needs. Beijing Subways extensive expansion plans call for 998.5 km 620.4 mi of lines serving a projected 18.5 million trips every day by 2021. The most recent expansion came into effect on December 28, 2019, with the extensions of Line 7 and Batong line.


1.1. Fares Distance-based fare

On December 28, 2014, the Beijing Subway switched from a fixed-fare to a distance-based fare schedule for all lines except the Capital Airport Express. For all lines except the two Airport Express lines, fares start at ¥3 for a trip up to 6 km in distance, with ¥1 added for the next 6 km, for every 10 km thereafter until the trip distance reaches 32 km, and for every 20 km beyond the first 32 km. A 40 km trip would cost ¥7.

The Capital Airport Express has a fixed fare of ¥25 per ride. The Daxing Airport Express is the only line to maintain class-based fares with ordinary class fare varying with distance from ¥10 to ¥35 and business class fare fixed at ¥50 per ride.

Same station transfers are free on all subway lines except the two Airport Express lines and the Xijiao Line, which require the purchase of a new fare when transferring to or from those lines. Children below 1.3 metres 51 in height ride for free when accompanied by a paying adult. Senior citizens over the age of 65, individuals with physical disabilities, retired revolutionary cadres, police and army veterans who had been wounded in action, military personnel and Peoples Armed Police can ride the subway for free.

Riders can look up fares by checking fare schedules posted in stations, calling the subway hotline 96165, going to the Beijing Subway website, or using the subways smartphone app.


1.2. Fares Fare collection

Passengers must insert the ticket or scan the card at the gate both before entering and exiting the station. The subways fare collection gates accept single-ride tickets and the Yikatong fare card. Passengers can purchase tickets and add credit to Yikatong card at ticket counters or vending machines in every station. The Yikatong, also known as Beijing Municipal Administration & Communication Card BMAC, is an integrated circuit card that stores credit for the subway, urban and suburban buses and e-money for other purchases. The Yikatong card itself must be purchased at the ticket counter. To enter a station, the Yikatong card must have a minimum balance of ¥3.00.

To prevent fraud, passengers are required to complete their journeys within four hours upon entering the subway. If the four-hour limit is exceeded, a surcharge of ¥3 is imposed. Each Yikatong card is allowed to be overdrawn once. The overdrawn amount is deducted when credits are added to the card.

Yikatong card users who spend more than ¥100 on subway fare in a calendar month will receive credits to their card the following month. After reaching ¥100 of spending in one calendar month, 20% of any further spending up to ¥150 will be credited. When spending exceeds ¥150, 50% of any further spending up to ¥250 will be credited. Once expenditures exceed ¥400, further spending wont earn any more credits. The credits are designed to ease commuters burdens of fare increases.

Beginning in June 2017, single-journey tickets could be purchased via a phone app. A May 2018 upgrade allowed entrance via scanning a QR code from the same app.


1.3. Fares Previous fare schedules

Prior to the December 28, 2014 fare increase, passengers paid a flat rate of RMB¥ 2.00 including unlimited fare-free transfers for all lines except the Capital Airport Express, which cost ¥25, The flat fare was the lowest among metro systems in China. Before the flat fare schedule was introduced on October 7, 2007, fares ranged from ¥3 to ¥7, depending on the line and number of transfers.


2. Lines in operation

Beijing Subway lines generally follow the checkerboard layout of the city. Most lines through the urban core outlined by the Line 10 loop run parallel or perpendicular to each other and intersect at right angles. Due to construction problems, both Lines 8 and 14 are split in two separate sections.As of December 31, 2018


2.1. Lines in operation Lines through the urban core

The urban core of Beijing is roughly outlined by the Line 10 loop, which runs underneath or just beyond the 3rd Ring Road. Each of the following lines provides extensive service within the Line 10 loop. All have connections to seven or more lines. Lines 1, 4, 5, 6 and 8 also run through the Line 2 loop, marking the old Ming-Qing era city of Beijing.

  • Line 9, a north–south line running west of Line 4 from the National Library through the Military Museum and Beijing West railway station to Guogongzhuang in the southwestern suburbs.
  • Line 5, a straight north–south line running through the east of the city centre. It passes the Temple of Earth, Yonghe Temple and the Temple of Heaven.
  • Line 6, a nearly straight east–west line running parallel and to the north of Line 1, passing through the city centre north of Beihai Park. At 53.4 km, it is the second longest Beijing Subway line after Line 10, and runs from Shijingshan District in the west to the Beijing City-sub center in Tongzhou District, terminating at Lucheng just beyond the eastern 6th Ring Road.
  • Line 2, the inner rectangular loop line traces the Ming-era inner city wall that once surrounded the inner city, and stops at 11 of the walls former gates ending in men, now busy intersections, as well as the Beijing Railway Station.
  • Line 7, an east–west line running parallel and to the south of Line 1 and Batong line, from Beijing West railway station to Jiaohuachang. It serves the old neighborhoods of southern Beijing with stops at Zhushikou, Caishikou and Ciqikou.
  • Line 10, the outer loop line runs underneath or just beyond the Third Ring Road. Apart from the Line 2 loop, which is entirely enclosed within the Line 10 loop, every other line through the urban core intersects with Line 10. In the north, Line 10 traces Beijings Yuan-era city wall.
  • Line 8, a north–south line following the citys central axis in two sections: from Changping District through Huilongguan and the Olympic Green to Shichahai and Nanluoguxiang inside the Second Ring Road, and from Zhushikou, due south of Qianmen, through Yongdingmen to Daxing District.
  • Line 4, a mainly north–south line running through the west of city centre with stops at the Summer Palace, Old Summer Palace, Peking and Renmin Universities, Zhongguancun, National Library, Beijing Zoo, Xidan, Taoranting and Beijing South railway station.
  • Line 14, operates in two sections: an east–west line from Zhangguozhuang to Xiju on Line 10, in the southwestern suburbs and an inverted L-shaped line from the Beijing South Railway Station east to Beijing University of Technology in the southeast before turning north through the Beijing CBD, Chaoyang Park, Jiuxianqiao, and Wangjing to Shangezhuang in Chaoyang District.
  • Line 1, a straight east–west line underneath Changan Avenue, which bisects the city through Tiananmen Square. Line 1 connects major commercial centres, Xidan, Wangfujing, Dongdan and the Beijing CBD.


2.2. Lines in operation Lines serving outlying suburbs

Each of the following lines provides service predominantly to one or more of the suburbs beyond the 5th Ring Road. With the exception of Line 13 which has transfers to eight lines and Line 15 with transfers to four lines, each of these lines is connected to three or fewer lines. Lines 15 and 16 along with the Changping, Daxing, Fangshan, Yanfang, and S1 lines extend beyond the 6th Ring Road.

  • Fangshan line extends Line 9 south from Guogongzhuang to Fangshan District in the southwestern suburbs.
  • Line 15 an east–west line which runs between the northern 4th and 5th Ring Road from the east of Tsinghua University, through the Olympic Green and Wangjing, turning northeast to suburban Shunyi District.
  • Line 16 branches off Line 4 at Xiyuan into the northwest suburbs of Haidian District north of the Baiwang Mountain.
  • Changping line branches off Line 13 at Xierqi and runs north through suburban Changping District. The line passes the Life Science Park, Shahe University Park, and the Thirteen Ming tombs.
  • S1 line, a low-speed maglev line connecting suburban Mentougou District with Line 6 in Shijingshan District.
  • Batong line extends Line 1 eastward from Sihui to suburban Tongzhou District.
  • Yizhuang line extends from Line 5s southern terminus to the Yizhuang Economic & Technological Development Zone in the southeastern suburbs.
  • Capital Airport Express connects the Beijing Capital International Airport, 27 km 17 mi northeast of the city, with Line 10 at Sanyuanqiao and Lines 2 and 13 at Dongzhimen.
  • Yanfang line extends the Fangshan Line further into western Fangshan District.
  • Daxing line extends Line 4 south to suburban Daxing District.
  • Daxing Airport Express connects the Beijing Daxing International Airport, 46 km 29 mi south of the city, with Line 10 at Caoqiao.
  • Line 13 arcs across suburbs north of the city and transports commuters to Xizhimen and Dongzhimen, at the northwest and northeast corners of Line 2.
  • Xijiao line, a light rail line that branches off Line 10 at Bagou and extends west to Fragrant Hills.


3. Future expansion

According to the Phase 2 construction plan approved by the NDRC in 2015, the length of Beijing Subway will reach 998.5 km 620.4 mi when the Phase 2 construction finished. By then, public transit will comprise 60% of all trips. Of those, the subway will comprise 62%. The adjustment of the Phase 2 construction plan was approved by the NDRC on December 5, 2019.

The new lines will significantly expand the subways coverage, especially south and west of the city. Line 14 s two sections will be connected into an inverted L-shaped line that pivots in the southeast. Fangshan line will be extended to the Third Ring Road and be connected with Lines 10 and 16.


3.1. Future expansion Monorail

In 2014, Beijing planning authorities assessed mass transit monorail lines for areas of the city in which subway construction or operation is difficult. Straddle beam monorail trains have lower transport capacity and operating speed 60 km/h or 37 mph than conventional subways, but are quieter to operate, have smaller turning radius and better climbing capability, and cost only one-third to one-half of subways to build. According to the initial environmental assessment report by the Chinese Academy of Rail Sciences, a Yuquanlu Line was planned to have 21 stations over 25 km 16 mi in western Beijing. The line was to begin construction in 2014 and would take two years to complete. A Dongsihuan Line named for the Eastern Fourth Ring Road it was to follow was planned to have 21 stations over 36 km 22 mi. In early 2015, plans for both monorail lines were shelved indefinitely, due to low capacity and resident opposition. Yuquanlu Line remain on the citys future transportation plan, and will be built as conventional below-ground subway line.


3.2. Future expansion Line 28 CBD line

In August 2015, planning authorities proposed an underground automatic people mover APM line through the Central Business District CBD.

According to the most recent plan announced in November 2018, the line is upgraded to a subway line, not an automatic people mover APM. The line will run 8.77 km 5.45 mi, have 9 stations from Dongdaqiao to Guangqudonglu.


4. Owner and operators

The Beijing Subway is owned by the Beijing Municipal Peoples Government through the Beijing Infrastructure Investment Co., LTD, 北京市基础设施投资有限公司 or BIIC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Beijing State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission 北京市人民政府国有资产监督管理委员会 or Beijing SASAC, the municipal governments asset holding entity.

The Beijing Subway was originally developed and controlled by the Central Government. The subways construction and planning was headed by a special committee of the State Council. In February 1970, Premier Zhou Enlai handed management of the subway to the Peoples Liberation Army, which formed the PLA Rail Engineering Corp Beijing Subway Management Bureau. In November 1975, by order of the State Council and Central Military Commission the bureau was placed under the authority of Beijing Municipal Transportation Department.

On April 20, 1981, the bureau became the Beijing Subway Company, which was a subsidiary of the Beijing Public Transportation Company.

In July 2001, the Beijing Municipal Government reorganized the subway company into the Beijing Subway Group Company Ltd., a wholly city-owned holding company, which assumed ownership of all of the subways assets. In November 2003, the assets of the Beijing Subway Group Company were transferred to the newly created BIIC.

The Beijing Subway has five operators:

  • The Beijing MTR Corp. 北京京港地铁有限公司 or Beijing MTR, a public–private joint venture formed in 2005 by and among Beijing Capital Group, a state company under Beijing SASAC with 49% equity ownership, MTR Corporation of Hong Kong 49%, and BIIC 2%, and operates four lines: Lines 4, 14, 16 and Daxing line. Line 17, which is currently under construction, is also confirmed to be operated by the Beijing MTR Corporation Limited.
  • The main operator is the wholly state-owned Beijing Mass Transit Railway Operation Corp. 北京市地铁运营有限公司 or Beijing Subway OpCo, which was formed in the reorganization of the original Beijing Subway Group Company in 2001, and operates 15 lines: Lines 1, 2, 5–10, 13, 15, Batong line, Changping line, Fangshan line, Yizhuang line and S1 line.
  • The Beijing Metro Operation Administration Corp., Ltd. 北京市轨道交通运营管理有限公司 or BJMOA, a subsidiary of Beijing Metro Construction Administration Corporation Ltd. 北京市轨道交通建设管理有限公司 or BJMCA also under Beijing SASAC, became the third company to obtain operation rights for the Beijing Subway in 2015. The BJMOA operates the Yanfang line and Daxing Airport Express, and is confirmed to operate Line 19 which is under construction. Its corporate parent, BJMCA, is a general contractor for Beijing Subway construction.
  • The Beijing City Metro Ltd. 北京京城地铁有限公司, also branded as "Capital Metro" 京城地铁 in their official logo, operates the Capital Airport Express. Beijing City Metro Ltd. is a joint venture established on February 15, 2016, between Beijing Subway OpCo 51% and BII Railway Transportation Technology Holdings Company Limited 49%京投轨道交通科技控股有限公司, a Hong Kong listed company 1522.HK controlled by BIIC. On March 27, 2017, Beijing City Metro Ltd. acquired a 30-year right to operate the Capital Airport Express and sections of the Dongzhimen subway station.
  • The Beijing Public Transit Tramway Co., Ltd. 北京公交有轨电车有限公司, formed in 2017, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Beijing Public Transport Corporation 北京公共交通控股(集团)有限公司 or BPTC that operates the Xijiao line. Its corporate parent, BPTC, is the citys main public bus operator.


5. Rolling stock

All subway train sets run on 1.435 millimetres 56.5 in standard gauge rail, except the maglev trains on Line S1, which run on a maglev track.

  • The Xijiao light rail transit LRT line operates five-car trams that draw 750V alternating current AC from overhead lines and can reach 70 km/h 43 mph.
  • The Capital Airport Express has its distinct 4-car linear motor train sets, powered by 750V DC electricity via the third rail, and can reach a maximum speed of 110 km/h 68 mph.
  • Type-A cars, which run on Lines 14 and 16, are 3.1 meters longer, and 20 cm wider than Type-B cars with a designed capacity of 310 passengers per car and 10 sets of doors per train compared to 8 sets of doors per train on Type-B cars. Type A cars draw 1.500 V DC power from overhead wire and can reach 100 km/h 62 mph. Line 14 uses six-car Type A train sets which can carry 1.860 passengers per train and 55.800 passengers per hour. Line 16 uses eight-car Type-A train sets which can carry 2.480 passengers per train and 74.400 passengers per hour.
  • The most common rolling stock of the Beijing Subway is the Type-B car, which has a carrying capacity of 245 passengers per car and top speed of 80 km/h 50 mph, drawing 750V direct current DC power from the third rail. Most lines operate the six-car Type-B train set that can carry 1.460 passengers per train and transport 43.800 passengers per hour. Lines 6 and 7 use eight-car Type-B train sets that can carry 1.960 passengers per train and 58.800 passengers per hour. The Type-B trains sets of Lines 6 and 7 can draw 1.500 V DC power and can reach 100 km/h 62 mph. The Yanfang Line operates four-car Type-B train sets with ”driverless” automatic train operation.
  • The S1 Lines maglev trains feature six-car train sets that run on 1.500 V DC power and can reach 100 km/h 62 mph. Compared to subway trains that run on conventional track, the maglev train has a smaller minimum turning radius of 75 meters compared to 200 meters, can climb steeper slope of 53‰ versus 40‰ and emits less noise. The six-car train set can carry 1.032 passengers.
  • The Daxing Airport Express uses Type-D train sets with top operational speed of 160 km/h 99 mph. The eight-car train sets have seven passenger cars and one car to carry luggage.

Until 2003 nearly all trains were manufactured by the Changchun Railway Vehicles Company Ltd., now a subsidiary of the China CNR Corporation. The newest Line 1 trains and those on Lines 4, 8, Batong, Changping and Daxing are made by Qingdao Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co., a subsidiary of China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Industry Corp. Line S1s maglev trains were produced by CRRC Tangshan.

The Beijing Subway Rolling Stock Equipment Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Beijing Mass Transit Railway Operation Corp. Ltd., provides local assemblage, maintenance and repair services.


6. Automated lines

There will be 6 fully automated lines at the level of GoA4, including 2 lines in operation the Yanfang line and the Daxing Airport Express and 4 lines under construction, using domestically developed communications-based train control systems.


7.1. History 1953–1965: origins

The subway was proposed in September 1953 by the citys planning committee and experts from the Soviet Union. After the end of the Korean War, Chinese leaders turned their attention to domestic reconstruction. They were keen to expand Beijings mass transit capacity but also valued the subway as an asset for civil defense. They studied the use of the Moscow Metro to protect civilians, move troops and headquarter military command posts during the Battle of Moscow, and planned the Beijing Subway for both civilian and military use.

The Chinese lacked expertise in building subways and drew heavily on Soviet and East German technical assistance. In 1954, a delegation of Soviet engineers, including some who had built the Moscow Metro, was invited to plan the subway in Beijing. From 1953 to 1960, several thousand Chinese students were sent to the Soviet Union to study subway construction. An early plan unveiled in 1957 called for one ring route and six other lines with 114 stations and 172 km 107 mi of track. Two routes vied for the first to be built. One ran east–west from Wukesong to Hongmiao, underneath Changan Avenue. The other ran north–south from the Summer Palace to Zhongshan Park, via Xizhimen and Xisi. The former was chosen due to more favorable geological foundation and greater number of government bureaus served. The second route would not be built until construction on Line 4 began forty years later.

The original proposal called for deep subway tunnels that can better serve military functions. Between Gongzhufen and Muxidi, shafts as deep as 120 m 390 ft were being dug. The worlds deepest subway station at the time in the Kiev Metro was only 100 m 330 ft deep. But Beijings high water table and high pressure head of ground water which complicated construction and posed risk of leakage, and along with the inconvenience of transporting passengers long distances from the surface, led the authorities to abandon the deep tunnel plan in May 1960 in favor of cut-and-cover shallow tunnels some 20 m 66 ft below the surface.

The deterioration of relations between China and Soviet Union disrupted subway planning. Soviet experts began to leave in 1960, and were completely withdrawn by 1963. In 1961, the entire project was halted temporarily due to severe hardships caused by the Great Leap Forward. Eventually, planning work resumed. The route of the initial line was shifted westward to create an underground conduit to move personnel from the heart of the capital to the Western Hills. On February 4, 1965, Chairman Mao Zedong personally approved the project.


7.2. History 1965–1981: the slow beginning

Construction began on July 1, 1965, at a ceremony attended by national leaders including Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping, and mayor Peng Zhen. The most controversial outcome of the initial subway line was the demolition of the Beijings historic inner city wall to make way for the subway. Construction plans for the subway from Fuxingmen to the Beijing Railway Station called for the removal of the wall, as well as the gates and archery towers at Hepingmen, Qianmen, and Chongwenmen. Leading architect Liang Sicheng argued for protecting the wall as a landmark of the ancient capital. Chairman Mao favored demolishing the wall over demolishing homes. In the end, Premier Zhou Enlai managed to preserve several walls and gates, such as the Qianmen gate and its arrow tower by slightly altering the course of the subway.

The initial line was completed and began trial operations in time to mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Peoples Republic on October 1, 1969. It ran 21 km 13 mi from the army barracks at Fushouling to the Beijing Railway Station and had 16 stations. This line forms parts of present-day Lines 1 and 2. It was the first subway to be built in China, and predates the metros of Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., but technical problems would plague the project for the next decade.

Initially, the subway hosted guest visits. On November 11, 1969, an electrical fire killed three people, injured over 100 and destroyed two cars. Premier Zhou Enlai placed the subway under the control of the Peoples Liberation Army in early 1970, but reliability problems persisted.

On January 15, 1971, the initial line began operation on a trial basis between the Beijing railway station and Gongzhufen. Single ride fare was set at ¥0.10 and only members of the public with credential letters from their work units could purchase tickets. The line was 10.7 km 6.6 mi in length, had 10 stations and operated more than 60 train trips per day with a minimum wait time of 14 minutes. On August 15, the initial line was extended to Yuquanlu and had 13 stations over 15.6 km 9.7 mi. On November 7, the line was extended again, to Gucheng Lu, and had 16 stations over 22.87 km 14.21 mi. The number of trains per day rose to 100. Overall, the line delivered 8.28 million rides in 1971, averaging 28.000 riders per day.

From 1971 to 1975, the subway was shut down for 398 days for political reasons. On December 27, 1972, the riders no longer needed to present credential letters to purchase tickets. In 1972, the subway delivered 15 million rides and averaged 41.000 riders per day. In 1973, the line was extended to Pingguoyuan and reached 23.6 km 14.7 mi in length with 17 stations and 132 train trips per day. The line delivered 11 million rides in 1973, averaging 54.000 riders per day.

Despite its return to civilian control in 1976, the subway remained prone to closures due to fires, flooding, and accidents. Annual ridership grew from 22.2 million in 1976 and 28.4 million in 1977 to 30.9 million in 1978, and 55.2 million in 1980.


7.3. History 1981–2000: two lines for two decades

On April 20, 1981, the Beijing Subway Company, then a subsidiary of the Beijing Public Transportation Company, was organized to take over subway operations. On September 15, 1981, the initial line passed its final inspections, and was handed over to the Beijing Subway Company, ending a decade of trial operations. It had 19 stations and ran 27.6 kilometres 17.1 miles from Fushouling in the Western Hills to the Beijing railway station. Investment in the project totaled ¥706 million. Annual ridership rose from 64.7 million in 1981 and 72.5 million in 1982 to 82 million in 1983.

On September 20, 1984, a second line was opened to the public. This horseshoe-shaped line was created from the eastern half of the initial line and corresponds to the southern half of the present-day Line 2. It ran 16.1 km 10.0 mi from Fuxingmen to Jianguomen with 16 stations. Ridership reached 105 million in 1985.

On December 28, 1987, the two existing lines were reconfigured into Lines 1, which ran from Pingguoyuan to Fuxingmen and Line 2, in its current loop, tracing the Ming city wall. Fares doubled to ¥0.20 for single-line rides and ¥0.30 for rides with transfers. Ridership reached 307 million in 1988. The subway was closed from June 3–4, 1989 during the suppression of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations. In 1990, the subway carried more than one million riders per day for the first time, as total ridership reached 381 million. After a fare hike to ¥0.50 in 1991, annual ridership declined slightly to 371 million.

On January 26, 1991, planning began on the eastward extension of Line 1 under Changan Avenue from Fuxingmen. The project was funded by a 19.2 billion yen low-interest development assistance loan from Japan. Construction began on the eastern extension on June 24, 1992, and the Xidan station opened on December 12, 1992. The remaining extension to Sihui East was completed on September 28, 1999. National leaders Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Yu Zhengsheng and mayor Liu Qi were on hand to mark the occasion. The full-length of Line 1 became operational on June 28, 2000.

Despite little track expansion in the early 1990s, ridership grew rapidly to reach a record high of 558 million in 1995, but fell to 444 million the next year when fares rose from ¥0.50 to ¥2.00. After fares rose again to ¥3.00 in 2000, annual ridership fell to 434 million from 481 million in 1999.


7.4. History 2001–2008: planning for the Olympics

In the summer of 2001, the city won the bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics and accelerated plans to expand the subway. From 2002 to 2008, the city planned to invest ¥63.8 billion US$7.69 billion in subway projects and build an ambitious "three ring, four horizontal, five vertical and seven radial" subway network. Work on Line 5 had already begun on September 25, 2000. Land clearing for Lines 4 and 10 began in November 2003 and construction commenced by the end of the year. Most new subway construction projects were funded by loans from the Big Four state banks. Line 4 was funded by the Beijing MTR Corporation, a joint-venture with the Hong Kong MTR. To achieve plans for 19 lines and 561 km 349 mi by 2015, the city planned to invest a total of ¥200 billion $29.2 billion.

The next additions to the subway were surface commuter lines that linked to the north and east of the city. Line 13, a half loop that links the northern suburbs, first opened on the western half from Huilongguan to Xizhimen on September 28, 2002 and the entire line became operational on January 28, 2003. Batong line, built as an extension to Line 1 to Tongzhou District, was opened as a separate line on December 27, 2003. Work on these two lines had begun respectively in December 1999 and 2000. Ridership hit 607 million in 2004.

Line 5 came into operation on October 7, 2007. It was the citys first north–south line, extending from Songjiazhuang in the south to Tiantongyuan in the north. On the same day, subway fares were reduced from between ¥3 and ¥7 per trip, depending on the line and number of transfers, to a single flat fare of ¥2 with unlimited transfers. The lower fare policy caused the Beijing Subway to run a deficit of ¥600 million in 2007, which was expected to widen to ¥1 billion in 2008. The Beijing municipal government covered these deficits to encourage mass transit use, and reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. On a total of 655 million rides delivered in 2007, the governments subsidy averaged ¥0.92 per ride.

In the summer of 2008, in anticipation of the Summer Olympic Games, three new lines - Line 10 Phase 1, Line 8 Phase 1 and the Capital Airport Express - opened on July 19. The use of paper tickets, hand checked by clerks for 38 years, was discontinued and replaced by electronic tickets that are scanned by automatic fare collection machines upon entry and exit of the subway. Stations are outfitted with touch screen vending machines that sell single-ride tickets and multiple-ride Yikatong fare cards. The subway set a daily ridership record of 4.92 million on August 22, 2008, the day of the Games closing ceremony In 2008, total ridership rose by 75% to 1.2 billion.


7.5. History 2008–present: rapid expansion

After the Chinese government announced a ¥4 trillion economic stimulus package in November 2008, the Beijing urban planning commission further expedited subway building plans, especially for elevated lines to suburban districts that are cheaper to build. In December 2008, the commission moved completion dates of the Yizhuang and Daxing Lines to 2010 from 2012, finalized the route of the Fangshan Line, and unveiled the Changping and Xijiao Lines.

Line 4 started operation on September 28, 2009, bringing subway service to much of western Beijing. It is managed by the MTR Corporation through a joint venture with the city. In 2009, the subway delivered 1.457 billion rides, 19.24% of mass transit trips in Beijing.

In 2010, Beijings worsening traffic congestion prompted city planners to move the construction of several lines from the 13th Five Year Plan to the 12th Five Year Plan. This meant Lines 8 Phase III, 3, 12, 16, the Yanfang line, as well as additional lines to Changping District and Tiantongyuan were to begin construction before 2015. Previously, Lines 3, 12 and 16 were being planned for the more distant future. On December 30, 2010, five suburban lines: Lines 15 Phase I from Wangjing West to Houshayu except Wangjing East station, Changping, Fangshan except Guogongzhuang station, Yizhuang except Yizhuang railway station, and Daxing, commenced operation. The addition of 108 km 67 mi of track, a nearly 50% increase, made the subway the fourth longest metro in the world. One year later, on December 31, 2011, the subway surpassed the New York City Subway to become the third longest metro in revenue track length with the extension of Line 8 north from the Olympic Green to Huilongguan, the opening of Line 9 in southwest Beijing from Beijing West railway station to Guogongzhuang, the extension of the Fangshan Line to Guogongzhuang, and the extension of Line 15 from Houshayu to Fengbo in central Shunyi. In the same year, the Beijing government unveiled an ambitious expansion plan envisioning the subway network to reach a track density of 0.51 km per km 2 0.82 mi per sq. mi. inside the Fifth Ring Road where residents would on average have to walk 1 km 0.62 mi to the nearest subway station. Ridership reached 2.18 billion in 2011.

In February 2012, the city government confirmed that Lines 3, 12, 17, 19 were under planning as part of Phase II expansion. Retroactively implying that the original three ring, four horizontal, five vertical and seven radial plan was part of Phase I expansion. Line 17 was planned to run north–south, parallel and to the east of Line 5, from Future Science Park North to Yizhuang Zhanqianqu South. Line 19 was planned to run north–south, from Mudanyuan to Xingong.

On December 30, 2012, Line 6 Phase I from Haidian Wuluju to Caofang, the extension of Line 8 from Beitucheng south to Guloudajie except Andelibeijie, the remainder of Line 9 except Military Museum station and the remainder of the Line 10 loop except the Xiju-Shoujingmao section and Jiaomen East station entered service. The addition of 69.8 km 43 mi of track increased the network length to 442 km 275 mi and allowed the subway to overtake the Shanghai Metro, for several months, as the worlds longest metro. The subway delivered 2.46 billion rides in 2012.

On May 5, 2013, the Line 10 loop was completed with the opening of the Xiju-Shoujingmao section and the Jiaomen East Station. The 57 km 35 mi loop line became the longest underground subway loop in the world. On the same day, the first section of Line 14 from Zhangguozhuang to Xiju also entered operation, ahead of the opening of the Ninth China International Garden Expo in Fengtai District. The subways total length reached 456 km 283 mi. On December 28, 2013, two sections were added to Line 8, which extended the line north to Zhuxinzhuang and south to Nanluoguxiang. In 2013, the subway delivered 3.209 billion rides, an increase of 30% from the year before.

On December 28, 2014, the subway network expanded by 62.2 km 38.6 mi to 18 lines and 527 km 327 mi with the opening of Line 7, the eastern extension of line 6 from Caofang to Lucheng, the eastern section of line 14 from Jintailu to Shangezhuang, and the western extension of line 15 from Wangjing West to Qinghuadongluxikou. At the same time, the ¥2 flat-rate fare was replaced with a variable-rate fare a minimum of ¥3, to cover operation costs. In 2014, the subway delivered 3.387 billion rides, an increase of 5.68% from the year before. Average daily and weekday ridership also set new highs of 9.2786 million and 10.0876 million, respectively.

From 2007 to 2014, the cost of subway construction in Beijing rose sharply from ¥0.571 billion per km to ¥1.007 billion per km. The cost includes land acquisition, compensation to relocate residents and firms, actual construction costs and equipment purchase. In 2014, city budgeted ¥15.5 billion for subway construction, and the remainder of subway building costs was financed by the Beijing Infrastructure Investment Co. LTD, a city-owned investment firm.

On December 26, 2015, the subway network expanded to 554 km 344 mi with the opening of the section of Line 14 from Beijing South railway station to Jintailu 11 stations; 16.6 km 10.3 mi), Phase II of the Changping line from Nanshao to Changping Xishankou 5 stations; 10.6 km or 6.6 mi, Andelibeijie station on Line 8, and Datunlu East station on Line 15. Ridership in 2015 fell by 4% to 3.25 billion due to a fare increase from a flat fare back to a distance based fare.

With the near completion of the three ring, four horizontal, five vertical and seven radial subway network, work began on Phase II expansion projects. These new extensions and lines will be operational in 2019~2021. On December 9, 2016, construction started on 126 km 78 mi of new line with the southern extension of Batong Line, the southern extension of Changping line, the Pinggu line, phase one of the New Airport line, and Line 3 Phase I breaking ground. The northern section of Line 16 opened on December 31, 2016. Ridership reached a new high of 3.66 billion. On December 30, 2017, a one-station extension of Fangshan Line Suzhuang – Yancun East, Yanfang line, Xijiao line and S1 line Shichang – Jinanqiao opened. On December 30, 2018, the western extension of Line 6 Jinanqiao – Haidian Wuluju, the South section of Line 8 Zhushikou – Yinghai, a one-station extension on Line 8 North section Nanluoguxiang – National Art Museum, a one-station extension on Yizhuang line Ciqu – Yizhuang Railway Station was opened. On September 26, 2019, the Daxing Airport Express Phase 1 was opened. On December 28, 2019, the eastern extension of Line 7 Jiaohuachang-Huazhuang and the southern extension of Batong line Tuqiao-Huazhuang was opened.


8.1. System upgrades Capacity

With new lines drawing more riders to the network, the subway has experienced severe overcrowding, especially during the rush hour. As of 2015, significant sections of Lines 1, 4 – Daxing, 5, 10, 13, Batong and Changping are officially over capacity during rush hour. In short term response, the subway upgraded electrical, signal and yard equipment to increase the frequency of trains to add additional capacity. Peak headways has been reduced to 1 min. 43 sec. on Line 4; 2 min. on Lines 1, 2, 5 and 10; 2 min. 27 sec. on Line 6; 2 min. 40 sec. on Line 13; 3 min. on Batong; 3 min. 30 sec. on Line 8; and 15 min. on the Airport Express.

Lines 13 and Batong have converted 4-car to 6-car trains. Lines 6 and 7 have longer platforms that can accommodate 8-car type B trains, while lines 14 and 16 uses higher capacity wide-body type A trains. New lines that cross the city center such as Lines 3, 12, 17 and 19, now under construction, will adopt high capacity 8-car type A trains with a 70 percent increase in capacity over older lines using 6 car type B. When completed these lines are expected to greatly relieve overcrowding in the existing network.

Despite these efforts, during the morning rush hour, conductors at line terminals and other busy stations must routinely restrict the number of passengers who can board each train to prevent the train from becoming too crowded for passengers waiting at other stations down the line. Some of these stations have built queuing lines outside the stations to manage the flow of waiting passengers. As of August 31, 2011, 25 stations mainly on Lines 1, 5, 13, and Batong have imposed such restrictions. By January 7, 2013, 41 stations on Lines 1, 2, 5, 13, Batong, and Changping had instituted passenger flow restrictions during the morning rush hour. The number of stations with passenger flow restrictions reached 110 in January 2019, affecting all lines except Lines 15, 16, Fangshan, Yanfang and S1.


8.2. System upgrades Transfers

Interchange stations that permit transfers across two or more subway lines receive heavy traffic passenger flow. The older interchange stations are known for lengthy transfer corridors and slow transfers during peak hours. The average transfer distance at older interchange stations is 128 m 420 ft The transfer between Lines 2 and 13 at Xizhimen was over 200 m 660 ft long and required 15 minutes to complete during rush hours. In 2011, this station was rebuilt to reduce the transfer distance. There are plans to rebuild other interchange stations such as Dongzhimen.

In newer interchange stations, which are designed to permit more efficient transfers, the average transfer distance is 63 m 207 ft. Many of the newer interchange stations including Guogongzhuang Lines 9 and Fangshan, Nanluoguxiang Lines 8 and 6, Zhuxinzhuang Changping and Line 8, Beijing West railway station Lines 9 and 7, National Library Lines 9 and 4, Yancun East Fangshan Line and Yanfang Line feature cross platform transfers. Nevertheless, longer transfer corridors must still be used when the alignment of the lines do not permit cross-platform transfer. The transfer corridors between Lines 1 and 9 at the Military Museum, which opened on December 23, 2013, are 160 m 520 ft in one direction and just under 300 m 980 ft in the other.


8.3. System upgrades Cellular network coverage

Mobile phones can currently be used throughout, except in the tunnels between stations on Lines 1 and 2. There are plans for all lines and stations to have cellular coverage.


8.4. System upgrades Accessibility

Each station is equipped with ramps, lifts, or elevators to facilitate wheelchair access. Newer model train cars now provide space to accommodate wheelchairs. Automated audio announcements for incoming trains are available in all lines except for Line 1. On all lines, station names are announced in Mandarin Chinese and English. Under subway regulations, riders with mobility limitations may obtain assistance from subway staff to enter and exit stations and trains, and visually impaired riders may bring assistance devices and guide dogs into the subway.


8.5. System upgrades Information hotline and app

The Beijing Subway telephone hotline was initiated on the eve of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games to provide traveler information, receive complaints and suggestions, and file lost and found reports. The hotline combined the nine public service telephones of various subway departments. On December 29, 2013, the hotline number was switched from 010-6834-5678 to 010-96165 for abbreviated dialing. In December 2014, the hotline began offering fare information, as the subway switched to distance-based fare. The hotline has staffed service from 5 am to midnight and has automated service during unstaffed hours.

The Beijing Subway has an official mobile application and a number of third-party apps.


8.6. System upgrades Automatic fare collection

Each station has two to 15 ticket vending machines. Ticket vending machines on all lines can add credit to Yikatong cards.


9.1. Safety Security check

To ensure public safety during the 2008 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, the subway initiated a three-month heightened security program from June 29 to September 20, 2008. Riders were subject to searches of their persons and belongings at all stations by security inspectors using metal detectors, X-Ray machines and sniffer dogs. Items banned from public transportation such as "guns, ammunition, knives, explosives, flammable and radioactive materials, and toxic chemicals" were subject to confiscation. The security program was reinstituted during the 2009 New Year Holiday and has since been made permanent through regulations enacted in February 2009.


9.2. Safety Emergency planning

After witnessing several serious subway accidents in South Korea e.g. Daegu subway fire in February 2003, the subway removed all shops and vendors from the inside of stations and installed self-illuminating exit signs to facilitate emergency evacuation. The popular underground mall at Xidan station was closed.


9.3. Safety Accidents and incidents

The subway was plagued by numerous accidents in its early years, including a fire in 1969 that killed six people and injured over 200. But its operations have improved dramatically and there have been few reported accidents in recent years. Most of the reported fatalities on the subway are the result of suicides. Authorities have responded by installing doors on platforms of newer lines.

On October 8, 2003, the collapse of steel beams at the construction site of Line 5s Chongwenmen station killed three workers and injured one. On March 29, 2007, the construction site at the Suzhoujie station on Line 10 collapsed, burying six workers. On June 6, 2008, prior to the opening of Line 10, a worker was crushed to death inside an escalator in Zhichunlu station when an intern turned on the moving staircase. On July 14, 2010, two workers were killed and eight were injured at the construction site of Line 15s Shunyi station when the steel support structure collapsed on them. On September 17, 2010, Line 9 tunnels under construction beneath Yuyuantan Lake were flooded, killing one worker. A city official who oversaw waterworks contracts at the site was convicted of corruption and given a death sentence with reprieve. On June 1, 2011, one worker was killed when a section of Line 6 under construction in Xicheng District near Pinganli collapsed. A collapse of an escalator at the Beijing Zoo Station on July 5, 2011, caused the death of one 13-year-old boy and injuries to 28 others.

On July 19, 2012, a man was fatally shot at Hujialou station by a sniper from the Beijing Special Weapons and Tactics Unit after taking a subway worker hostage.

On May 4, 2013, a train derailed when it overran a section of track on Line 4. The section was not open to the public and was undergoing testing. There were no injuries.

On November 6, 2014, a woman was killed when she tried to board the train at Huixinxijie Nankou station on Beijing Subways Line 5. She became trapped between the train door and the platform edge door and was crushed to death by the departing train. The accident happened on the second day of APEC China 2014 meetings in the city during which the municipal government has banned cars from the roads on alternate days to ease congestion and reduce pollution during the summit – measures which the capitals transport authorities have estimated would lead to an extra one million passengers on the subway every day.


10. Subway culture


The subways logo, a capital letter "G" encircling a capital letter "D" with the letter "B" silhouetted inside the letter D, was designed by Zhang Lide, a subway employee, and officially designated in April 1984. The letters B, G, and D form the pinyin abbreviation for "北京高速电车" pinyin: Beijīng gāosù diànchē ; literally: Beijing high-speed electric carriage.

Subway Culture Park

The Beijing Subway Culture Park, located near Xihongmen in Daxing District, opened in 2010 to commemorate the 40-year history of the Beijing Subway. The 19 ha 47 acres park was built using dirt and debris removed from the construction of the Daxing Line and contains old rolling stock, sculpture, and informational displays. Admission to the park is free.


11. Beijing Suburban Railway

The Beijing Suburban Railway, a suburban commuter train service, is managed separately from the Beijing Subway. The two systems, although complementary, are not related to each other operationally. Beijing Suburban Railway is operated by the China Railway Beijing Group.

There are 3 suburban railway lines currently in operation: Line S2, Sub-Central line and Huairou–Miyun line.