Transportation Deployment Casebook/2018/Beijing subway

Beijing subwayEdit

Quantitative AnalysisEdit


Beijing Subway is an urban rail transit system serving Beijing, China. It is  one of the 14 members of the International Metro Union (CoMET). Its first line was officially opened on January 15, 1971 which makes Beijing become the first city in China to have subway.

As of December 2017, there are 22 subway lines running on the Beijing Metro, all of which use the subway system and cover 11 city districts in Beijing. The mileage is 608 kilometers. There are 370 stations, and the mileage is ranked second in China.

As of December 2017, Beijing Metro is constructing 17 lines, a total of 320.8 kilometers. By 2020, Beijing Metro will form a rail transit network with 30 lines and a total length of 1177 kilometers.

In 2016, the annual passenger volume of the Beijing subway reached 3.025 billion passengers, with an average daily passenger flow of 8.247 million passengers and a daily maximum of 10,522,600 passenger trips.

Main marketEdit

The main market of Beijing subway is the Beijing citizen. Due the Beijing is the largest city in China and with a large population of 21 million and 707 thousand, Beijing subway has a huge market which should develop more. The Beijing subway is not only a business project but also a people's livelihood project. The Beijing government build the subway to fit the huge travel demand of the Beijing citizen.

Beijing subway plan

Main advantagesEdit

  • Saving travel time:Subway is a mode which has large passenger volume, it can saving much more travel time for many people as the same time.
  • Less noise: The subway is built underground which can reduce the noise of railway.
  • Saving land: subway is underground which is not use the land on the ground.
  • Creating jobs: Running and maintaining subway lines needs many staffs, this will provide many jobs for public.
  • Less pollution: The Beijing subway is all use electricity power which makes less pollution than the railway.

Main weaknessEdit

  • High cost: Building subway is a project with high budget. The city with low budget is hard to build one subway line. One of the reputation in China is the city who wants to build one subway line needs the budget over 10 billion RenMingBi (RMB).
  • Long construction period: The construction period of subway line is always over 3 years in China. During the construction period, it may cause congestion in the street which build subway line.

Early marketEdit

Due to Beijing Metro was the first subway in China, the government was lack of expertise in building subways. As a result, thousands of Chinese students were sent to the Soviet Union to study the construction of the subway. Beijing subway was originally planned with the help of Soviet experts and the concept originally unveiled in 1953.

In January 15, 1971, the first phase of the Beijing subway project began trial operation, and the line was from Beijing Railway Station to Gongzhufen station. The west end terminal of the operation line was extended to Yuquanlu Road station in August 5, 1971 and extended to GuCheng Railway Station in November 7th.

In September 20, 1984, the two phase of Beijing Metro opened and operated. The station of Beijing Metro Line 2 is 16.1 km long from Fuxing gate to Jianguo gate, with 12 stations. Part of the two stage project and the first phase project can be combined into a ring.


The Beijing Metro signal system is originally an automatic driving mode of railway block, which is introduced and transformed into ATC system, and the loop line adopts the CTC+ frequency shift track circuit +ATP system designed and installed by itself.

In view of the mobile phone signal problem in Beijing metro, all the subway lines are working with the telecom operators to open the commercial communication system. The ground 3G signals are introduced into the underground and the underground 3G coverage is realized. The line will further use the logo color to facilitate passengers' identification of transfer flow and route.

Growth of the modeEdit

After the beginning stage, Beijing subway was growth in 2001. In July 13, 2001, Beijing won the right to host the twenty-ninth Summer Olympic Games and promoted the development of Beijing Subways. Considering it will be a huge demand during the Olympic Games, the Beijing government start building more lines of Beijing subway. From 2002 to 2008, Beijing invested 63.8 billion yuan (RMB) to build the Beijing subway. In order to achieve the goal of building 17 lines with a total length of 554 km in 2015, Beijing invested a total of 270 billion yuan (RMB).


China has the policy of enter subway lines which is the passengers must do security check before the enter the station. When the Beijing subway began operation in 1971, it was ruled that only the citizens showing their certificates could enter the subway. In 1973, the policy changed, and any passenger could buy a 0.10 yuan ticket on subway. The ticket prize was not the burden of Beijing people at that time. After that, the fare is stay in 2 yuan in a long time and in 2014 Beijing subway company change the ticket prize depends on the distance, from 3 to 9 yuan now.

Children under 120 cm in height do not need to pay for the Beijing subway.

Future developmentEdit

By the end of 2021, 20 subway lines will be opened to traffic in Beijing, with a total length of 338 km and 160 stations. By the end of 2020, the 16 districts in Beijing will achieve the goal of passing through the region.

Some experts speculate that the construction of the entire subway system will be completed before 2040. We find that this trend seems to fit well with our S curve. The figure shows that the Beijing subway will mature around 2040. However, the number of passengers will still increase after that. As we can see, technology has been improving since the beginning of the life cycle, which makes the system more friendly, reliable and safer.

Quantitative AnalysisEdit

After collect the data of annual ridership of Beijing subway, I use Excel the draw the figure below.

From the figure, we can see that the rapid growth of passengers shows that the Beijing subway system is still in the growth stage. However, the data is almost perfect drawn together with the first half part of the S curve. Although future development may not be fully consistent with the next half of the S curve, it can provide a reference for the government in planning the future, such as design networks, station capacity and related policies.

Beijing Metro ridership

From the Task Guide, I learn to use the data to estimate a three-parameter logistic function:

S(t) = K/[1+exp(-b(t-t0)]


S(t) is the status measure,  (e.g. Passenger-km traveled)

t is time (usually in years),

t0 is the inflection time (year in which 1/2 K is achieved),

K is saturation status level,

b is a coefficient.  

K and b are to be estimated.

K 2200 2300 2400 2500 2550 2600 2650 2700 2520 2540 2560 2569
R square 0.972352 0.973121 0.973298 0.973652 0.973773 0.973548 0.973523 0.973514 0.973688 0.973702 0.973779 0.973786
R Square 0.973786
Adjusted R Square 0.971345
Standard Error 0.236954
Observation 46

From the figure, we can see that the develop of Beijing subway is in the n

Impact factorEdit

Due to China is a country which is highly controled by the government, some decisions made by government will impact the ridership.

For example, The Asian Games in opened in Beijing in 1992 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games was also boom up the ridership in Beijing subway because many people around China or other countries were went to Beijing to join the event.


1.     Task guide

2.    Beijing Subway official website:

3.    History of Beijing subway.

4.    Beijing’s Metro, Beijing Subway Development

5.    Beijing subway Wikis

6.    Beijing subway plan

7.    Beijing subway development in 2021

8.    Beijing subway line 1