Business / Train ticket

High ticket prices put brakes on bullet trains

(Shanghai Daily) Updated: 2007-04-23 14:20
The arrival of China's bullet trains has been accompanied by much fanfare.

However, public reaction has been disappointing, with pre-sale tickets hardly in hot demand.

The Ministry of Railways is now considering cutting ticket prices for the services, which begin tomorrow.

The bullet trains promise to reduce journey times by an average of two hours between major cities with speeds of 200 to 250 kilometers per hour.

But fares were 50 percent higher than the current express trains because of "greater costs, faster speed and better services," said Wang Yongping, a ministry spokesman.

Tickets for the bullet trains went on sale over the weekend but faced a cold reception in some cities, includingBeijing, because of the prices.

"We have noticed the public opinion about the ticket prices and will consider slashing prices on the basis of market conditions in the future," said Wang.

The ministry has been criticized by sections of the Chinese media for the higher prices.

The ministry is also under fire for setting the higher prices without a public hearing.

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