Beijing: Panic driving Rush to join License-Plate Lottery

About 100,000 more residents entered the latest round of the capital city’s vehicle-license lottery than had in February, even amid revelations that winners of previous lottery rounds had not taken advantage of the opportunities they had to buy cars.

A total of 397,543 qualified candidates took part in the city’s third license-plate lottery, which was held this month, according to figures released by the Beijing municipal commission of transport on Friday. The participants will compete in a draw on Saturday for the right to obtain one of 17,600 license plates Beijing issues each month.
In February, 292,280 people had taken part in the lottery, giving each participant only a 6% chance of winning. The odds have narrowed even further in March – to a mere 4%.

According to the lottery’s rules, applicants who have failed to win in the past two months will be automatically entered in the latest drawing, a policy that has greatly added to the total number of participants.
Traffic-clogged Beijing began using the lottery on Jan 1 in an attempt at controlling the number of vehicles on the streets and easing gridlock. Although 35,200 people won the right to buy a car in the first two drawings, only a small number of them have actually made good on it.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Beijing residents have been swarming to other provinces out of desperation to get license plates, according to previous reports.

Yang Hongshan, deputy dean of the department of urban planning at Renmin University of China, said the defects in the lottery system are more obvious now that the system has been in place for three months. “The problem is that real demands aren’t being satisfied, while people with few intentions of buying cars are feeling compelled to enroll in the lottery,” he said.

Source: http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2011-03/28/content_12238515.htm
Source: YCC Weekly E-News for Transport & Climate Change in China. transport.climatechange@gmail.com

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