Being the conductor, handing out guide cards to citizens, establishing a public transportation website, surfing on 84000.com.cn, publishing a series of guidebooks, making maps…Zhang Zheng, a 28-year-old Beijing man, lives a life closely intertwined with the public transportation system. His new book “A Guidebook to Beijing’s Bus Lines” and a Beijing Bus Map will be available next month. Since the first Guidebook was released in July 2007, a series of guidebooks have already been issued in more than 20 editions.
Zhang Zheng is an employee working on bus No. 27, with the Fourth Branch of the Beijing Public Transport Group. He has been fascinated with the public transportation system since he was a child. His favorite games were to model himself after the driver and go through the motions of putting the bus in gear, competing with his friends pretending to sell bus tickets, recording car types and riding the bus and copying down all the stop names. In 28 years, he has taken more than 70 percent of the about 800 bus routes in Beijing. In an instant, he can conjure up an image of a Beijing map in his mind and give you the correct transfer information.
After graduation, Zhang Zheng became a conductor. He makes full use of his talents to serve the passengers, and gives out free guide cards and bus transfer handbooks. After work, this bus lover is devoted to bus-related websites. He has established www.bjbus.org and actively participates in the operation of www.8694.cn, both of which provide services to search for bus information. On his proposal, the latter website even launched a mobile version. Beginning in 2005, he spent one year recording Beijing’s bus routes, and compiled a handbook. His first Guidebook was then published and ranked in the Top Three Best Sellers among map books at the Wangfujing Bookstore in 2009.
The Guidebook is updated every two to three months. Before publishing a new version, Zhang Zheng always includes the latest bus information. If some remote routes are not marked with clear names, he usually drives there and checks out the information himself. At the end of June, his book was already handed over to the publisher. One week before the publication date, however, a long awaited Bus No.929 Branch (Zhuwo) opened. Zhang Zheng did not want his book published without this information, so he invited two friends to go to Mentougou and collect the information on this bus route. Luckily, this route was added to his book just in time.
Zhang Zheng keeps improving the layout of the Guidebook. In the beginning, readers could look for routes in alphabetical order or by looking at the bus number index. In 2009, he introduced a character stroke index to his handbook. Then in 2010, an index of the names of main roads and major stops was made available.
He said eagerly, “My biggest dream is to research the bus routes in major cities around China and publish Guidebooks for them, in order to provide more convenience to citizens and travelers.“