Did you know that for citizens who want to get a license plate in Beijing, they must enter a monthly 20,000 plate lottery to get one, at less than 1 in 10 odds. Last August, there were over 1 million applicants.
Road space rationing in Beijing is a transportation demand management regulation aimed to reduce the amount of exhaust gas and to supply road space capacity by restricting automobile travel through means such as restriction of cars that could enter common road space based upon the last digits of the license number on certain established days during certain periods in Beijing.
Many road space rationing regulations, such as the even-odd license plate policy, yellow label car policy, end-number policy and passenger car purchase policy have been established in Beijing since the 2008 Summer Olympics. These policies are enforced by traffic enforcement cameras that are able to recognize license plates of automobiles and the police, where the cameras and policemen could recognize license plates of cars that should not be on the road during a certain day, and when found out, the driver of the car would receive certain penalties. Although there have been a significant improvement in the air quality of Beijing and the road space availability, many negative responses of the city’s car owners were received.
Starting from January 1, 2012, Beijing citizens who wish to purchase passenger cars with less than five seats must follow the small passenger car purchase policy to be applicable for purchasing a passenger car. According to the policy, the individual purchaser must not already have a passenger car registered under his or her name, and must fulfill various requirements such as having a driving license and living in Beijing; if the purchaser fulfills all of the requirements, he or she could apply for a quota for a passenger by entering the information pertaining to being applicable at the ‘Beijing Small Passenger Car Passenger Quota Management’ website, and then wait for the monthly license plate ‘lottery’ (摇号), where during the 26th of every month the Traffic Management Bureau would take all of the eligible quotas and select a certain amount of them randomly similar to the way of lottery where numbers are drawn randomly. Companies are also applicable to following the policy, but under a different set of rules. Car owners who scrapped their cars could produce evidence and receive a quota without going through the process of license plate ‘lottery’