Guomao (国贸站) subway station, which links Lines 1 and 10, will be having a new transfer hall to reduce passenger volume in its narrow interchange lane, thus shortening transit times. It is good news for many office workers in the Central Business District (CBD) area, especially that the number of crowds at the station is expected to increase by 50 percent by 2025. The catch? The hall will be opened by the end of next year.
Local media reported that the Beijing Municipal Development and Reform Commission approved a proposal to set up the new three-storey hall, akin to an airport concourse, that would link the station’s existing channel with new ones.
The current two-way interchange lane is a 70m-long, 8.5m-wide passageway serving 20,000 people during the morning and evening rush hours daily. Aside from that, the passageway only has two sets of escalators and stairs to meet the 6.4m height difference between Lines 1 and 10 — and that easily leads to congestion.
The hall (as shown in the rendering below) will introduce “buffer zones” at both ends of new escalators, expanding the space for transiting passengers. Authorities said that despite the hall slightly increasing the transfer distance by tens of meters, it would greatly reduce passenger volume and safety risks and allow for faster walking times. (That, of course, if passengers wouldn’t look at their smartphones while walking!)
Local media reported that construction on the hall would start “in the near future” — as authorities have yet to specify dates — but that the hall would be put into use by the end of 2019.
Speaking of interchanges, an official municipal online platform recently announced that the long-planned merger of Line 1 and the Batong Line via Sihui and Sihui East stations on Beijing’s east side may become operational as early as next year. Many of the CBD employees come from their homes in the eastern Tongzhou district, so this unified service will ease their daily commute.
In west Beijing, three new lines opened on December 30: Line S1, the Yanfang Line (燕房线), and the Xijiao Line (西郊线), bringing the current number of subway lines to 22, with a total line length of 608 kilometers.