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In a bid to help reduce Beijing's notorious traffic jams during
In a bid to help reduce Beijing's notorious traffic jams during next month's Olympic Games, car companies in the city are encouraging their clients to get on their bikes for the event, a company representative said Monday.

Vehicles are considered one of the primary causes of air pollution in Beijing and with around 1,000 new cars hitting the capital's roads each day, the government has introduced measures to try and ease congestion and lower air pollution levels before the start of the Summer Olympics on August 8.

One car company is offering its customers the free use of bicycles to help "customers get through this period painlessly, when they need to get to work every day as usual, and do other things that could prove difficult without a vehicle," Wang Jianwen said on Monday.

The move follows government restrictions on car use, which come into effect on July 20, when cars with uneven and even registration plates will be banned from entering the city on alternate days, removing an estimated 1.3 million cars from Beijing's roads each day, with a further 300,000 high-emission vehicles due to be taken off the roads altogether, the China Daily said on Monday.

Other measures to ease commuter traffic are also being introduced with people being encouraged to work from home and firms being instructed to allow their employees to work flexible working hours. Public institutions and shopping malls will also start work an hour later to stagger rush hour traffic.

China has spent an estimated $17 billion to tackle the city's pollution and many factories around the capital are set to reduce production or stop working in the lead up to the Olympics, which run from August 8 until 24 with the Paralympics running September 6 until 17.


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