BEIJING - UNDER a new draft government regulation, smoking and other acts considered to be disturbing will be prohibited in buses and subway trains in Chinese cities.

Passengers will also be banned from drinking alcohol, begging, carrying pets and giving performances of a commercial nature in urban buses and subway trains, according to the draft regulation.

The Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, or the Cabinet, made the draft regulation public to solicit opinions on Friday. The draft regulation also outlined rules on the construction, operation, and safety of urban public transport.

It assigned the main responsibility of developing urban public transport to the government, and urged the government to increase spending and prioritise the development of public transport in urban areas.

The government, which will retain the right to set fares for urban public transport, will be required to hold a public hearing before setting prices. The price had to be fixed in such a way that public transport would become the favoured means of transport for urban residents, the draft regulation said.

In developing a public transport system, municipal governments should fully take into consideration the needs of the old and the disabled and improve barrier-free facilities, it said. There were more than 411,900 buses and 1,011km of subway lines with 5,479 trains in Chinese cities by the end of 2009.

China may restrict smoking