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Train ticket price to hike 15% from Feb 1
Updated: 2005-01-14 00:15

The Ministry of Railways (MOR) on Wednesday announced that prices of train tickets will be increased before the Spring Festival, China's traditional lunar new year, which will fall on Feb. 9 this year.

Passengers queue up to buy train tickets at railway station in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province January 10, 2005.[newsphoto]
The price hike is attempted to control passengers during the peak travel period due to a shortage of space.

Price of hard seat tickets will rise by 15 percent and price of sleeper tickets will rise by 20 percent from Feb. 1 to 7, according to the Ministry of Railways.

Chinese travelers will make an unprecedented 14.5 billion journeys by train during the 40-day peak travel season, which will start on Jan. 25, 4.97 million or 3.5 percent more than the same period last year.

A MOR source said the ministry held a public hearing on ticket price hike in 2002 and the price fluctuation was approved. In the past three years, the Ministry rose train ticket prices during peak season by 15-20 percent.

China's travel season peaks as millions of migrant workers and college students travel home for their family unions.

In 2002, the State Development Planning Commission held a public hearing on ticket price rises during peak periods. It authorized railway ministries to increase average seat prices by 15 percent during the Spring Festival.

The authorization has been used for the past two years, as an effective pricing mechanism for rail transport.

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