Peter Anders’ daily commute involves traveling halfway across Beijing and back.
“My overall spending on the subway will at least double, rising to about 300 yuan a month, if ticket prices are adjusted,” said the 38-year-old German.
However, he accepts that adjusting fares to reflect the distance traveled makes sense.
He has studied the two proposed pricing plans, and admits he is a little confused about the details.
“I think the locations of the stations should be taken into account. Different fares should be charged in downtown and the outskirts,” he said.
He pointed out that the distance traveled between two stations varies depending on the route taken, and added with a smile, “If the fare was based on the shorter distance, it would be better for the passengers.”
Anders has lived in Beijing for more than three years, and he works as a researcher in Chaoyang district. He lives with his Chinese wife in Fengtai district, having moved from Haidian district, which is much closer to his workplace.
“I don’t travel to work by bus, as I would have to change buses five times between my home and the office,” he said. “I only take the bus if I’m going a short distance at times when there aren’t any traffic jams.”
SUBWAY TICKET PRICE CHANGES
Beijing Subway started operating on Jan 15, 1971. At the beginning, when the subway had only one line, the price to ride was 1 jiao, or 0.1 yuan. The ticket price went up to 2 jiao in 1987 and 5 jiao in 1991. The annual passenger volume went down by 10 million in that year.
The biggest price increase was in 1996, when it went to 2 yuan. As a result, the number of passengers dropped by more than 100 million.
The present 2-yuan ticket was settled on in 2007, after an increase to 3 yuan in 1999.
The 7th price adjustment
From July 3 to 20, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform announced it would solicit public input on a ticket-price adjustment.
It is the first time in the capital that advice solicitation took place before price-adjustment plans were in place. The announcement also listed the subway ticket prices in different cities at home and abroad, as a reference for viewers.
The advice could be offered via a website BBS, e-mail, telephone, fax or WeChat.
A total of 24,079 people sent 40,222 messages on the issue, the commission said.
A survey company was entrusted to get more than 8,000 samples in streets and homes, said Li Sufang, a commission official.
Besides 25 representatives at the hearing, 10 seats were offered for observers. In less than half an hour after the seats were offered on Monday, they were booked, Beijing Morning Post reported.
The 25 representatives prepared a lot before the hearing, such as handing out a questionnaire survey and talking face to face with ordinary people. Zhang Wenping, one of the representatives, discussed the issue with more than 300 residents.
On Oct 21, they visited the bus stations and a subway construction site, 26 meters underground.