(Yicai Global) Oct. 20 -- Beijing's first modern light rail, which plies a route past Fragrant Hills, the Kunyu River, the Summer Palace and other scenic spots in the city's western suburbs, is undergoing comprehensive trial operation and is projected to come on line by year's end, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
Each car in the western suburban line has a designed capacity of 300 passengers, midway between that of rail transit and buses. The trams depart at fixed intervals, with two streetcars coupled at peak travel times, but with departure intervals unchanged.
Passengers can buy a traditional prepaid card or pay via their mobile phones or buy physical tickets from a machine.
In contrast to subway trains, the western suburb line allows passengers to enjoy scenery along the way and the trams that ply the line are more punctual than buses, ensuring passengers' timely arrival.
Thirteen cars now stand poised to run the new line and technicians are hastening to commission equipment and facilities, Beijing Public Transport told Yicai Global.
The new line is sure to become a favorite route for Beijingers' weekend excursions.