Cruise ships are docked at Zigui port in Yichang, a port city along the Yangtze River in Hubei province. (Photo provided to China Daily)
A water transportation system will be included in the green development of the Yangtze River Delta region, catering to the needs of both business travel and daily commutes.
The Comprehensive Transportation Plan (2021-35) for the demonstration zone of the green and integrated ecological development of the region was released at a news conference in Shanghai on Wednesday.
The water transportation system will be set up based on the key rivers and lakes in the demonstration zone, while passenger services will be rolled out according to the natural conditions, the plan said.
The demonstration zone aims to provide diversified solutions to different transportation demands from business travel, cross-regional commutes and daily life, it said.
Wang Weiren, deputy secretary-general of the Shanghai government, said at the news conference that small freight hubs will be built in the demonstration zone to better connect water transportation with railway services.
Another waterway network is also included in the plan, which aims to integrate port and shipping resources and further improve transportation efficiency, he said.
Wang Xiaojie, deputy director of the Shanghai transportation commission, said efforts will be made to quickly build the major waterway transportation projects.
Construction of ports on the waterways should start as soon as possible so river shipping can play a bigger role in improving transportation efficiency and help facilitate the development of the demonstration zone, he said.
Making progress on major projects is crucial to the implementation of the newly released plan, expansion of investment and advancing the zone's high-quality economic growth, Wang said.
Covering an area of 2,413 square kilometers, the demonstration zone was established in 2019 and includes Qingpu district in southwest Shanghai, Wujiang district in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, and Jiashan county in Zhejiang province.
The area of water in the demonstration zone covers about 488 sq km.
The framework plan for the demonstration zone, which was approved by the State Council in February, said that the green economy, a high-quality lifestyle and sustainable development should be the three highlights of the zone.
The public transportation sector for the demonstration zone should see a "green transformation". Environmentally friendly aspects should include charging piles and hydrogen refueling stations.