Chongqing subway provides conveniences for local farmers

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-03-22 16:38
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Every early morning in Southwest China's Chongqing, there is a common scene at the city's Subway Line 4: a group of farmers shouldering vegetables for sale are busy riding on the subway to downtown.

Nicknamed "packbasket special line", the second phase of the subway line, connecting Shichuan town to the city center, has a total length of 32.8 kilometers and 15 stations. It has provided local farmers near the town with a wider channel for selling their produce since its opening in 2022. The vegetables grown by the farmers, which used to be sold at low prices in the town, can now be sold at higher prices in the city.

Every morning around 6 o'clock, the entrance and exit of the Shichuan Town station of the line are packed with these special commuters. They carry baskets filled with fresh seasonal vegetable on their backs, or use shoulder poles to carry the baskets. Some even secure their baskets to small trolleys with wheels and pull them to the station entrance.

To facilitate the farmers, the station which was supposed to open at 6:15, now opens five minutes early every day. The staff members at the station also assist as much as possible: helping with the baskets, guiding the farmers to use the elevators, or using handheld metal detectors for security checks, and guiding them to enter the station quickly and orderly.

Ye Shanju, a vegetable farmer from Maliu village in Shizhu town, has her own navel orange orchard. During this year’s Spring Festival, which is a good time to sell fruits, she carried 70 to 80 kilograms of oranges every day and walked 40 minutes to catch the first train to downtown.

There’s also an elderly couple in their 80s, who take the subway to sell vegetables. In Chongqing, people over the age of 65 can ride the rail for free. The opening of this subway line not only saves money for the elderly but also time.

According to Feng, the husband of the elderly couple, it took him more than one hour to reach the city before as he had to take several buses. Now, by taking the subway, they can get there in less than 30 minutes without any hassle. And they can sell all their pea shoots in less than three hours after arriving at the market.

Some netizens said the subway passengers should be prohibited from carrying large items such as vegetable baskets during peak hours in the mornings and evenings, as this could cause inconvenience to other passengers and potentially damage public transportation facilities.

Chongqing Rail Transit responded that passengers can carry items on the subway as long as the sum of the length, width, and height does not exceed 2 meters and the weight does not exceed 20 kilograms. If passengers find that the vegetables brought onto the trains by the farmers emit odors or liquids that soil the carriage, they can report this to the subway stations, and the staff members would handle the situation promptly.

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