A train approaches the Jianguomen Station of the metro in Beijing, Dec 27. [Photo/Xinhua]
BEIJING — Beijing’ s subways suspended service on Dec 27 at night to prepare for public transit fare hikes on Dec 28.
Passengers were banned from entering subway stations at 9 pm on Dec 27, to give workers time to adjust the fare counting system.
Authorities increased bus transport to ensure the travel of passengers after the suspension of subways.
Meanwhile, 15,000 personnel were mobilized to upgrade the card sweeping machines on the city’s 22,000 buses overnight after the end of their operation on Dec 27.
The public transport begins to adopt new fares on Dec 28, which double the current prices on average, but include some discount schemes.
According to the pricing adjustment plan, the minimum price for a subway ride will be 3 yuan, which covers a ride of 6 km, compared with the current flat-fare of 2 yuan with unlimited transfers. The subway fares will increase in accordance with the length of travels.
For bus passengers, a ride of 10 km will be 2 yuan and 1 yuan for every further 5 km. Smart card users will enjoy a 50 percent discount and student card users 75 percent discount.
Bus transport in Beijing is currently 1 yuan on most lines, with a smart card price of only 0.4 yuan. Some longer bus lines charge passengers according to the length of ride.
The number of passengers taking the subway hit 3.2 billion last year in Beijing, an increase of 350 percent from 2007. Subsidies jumped from 13.5 billion yuan in 2010 to 20 billion yuan in 2013.