As the largest metropolis in southeastern China, Chongqing had 1.65 million populations in 1980s. Based on the multinuclear principle, the citizens were able to complete their living and working activities within each self-sufficient district. As a result, walking was their most common means of within-district travels. While for long-distance travels, except a few bicycles and private cars, public transports like buses, ferry and trams served the major of the public at that time.
However, affected by the rugged topography, there were merely two main roads arranged alongside the Yangtze and Jialing River, in addition with three cross-river bridge connecting the central area with the south and north banks. And the rest minor roads were quite narrow and bumpy caused by the mountainous context. Besides, according to the official document, there were 0.55 cars for per thousand people on average, which means the capacity of public transportation system could not meet the demand of the public.
To relieve the pressure on public transportations, many institutions and firms provided their employees with shuttle-bus service. That partly solved the problem of transport capacity shortage, but aggravated the traffic congestion trouble at the same time.
According to the urban planning principle raised in1983, the major improvement on transportation system would be the underground metro line on the east-west axis. The reason for this direction is to avoid the cost on cross-river tunnels and bridges.
Overall, the development of transportation system was slightly behindhand during that period.
Reference:WANG Jian and DING Chun, (1991) Development and Management of the mass transport in Chongqing, Journal of Chongqing Jiaotong Institute, 10(06), P100-105.