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Price hikes hurt Spring Festival commuters
(China Daily)
Updated: 2005-01-19 14:59

Cranking up ticket prices by as much as 15 to 20 per cent during Spring Festival's mass homeward migration is not in the public interest, according to an article in the Nanjing-based Jiangnan Times. An excerpt follows:

Ticket prices to travel home during the Spring Festival holidays a traditional time for family reunion have increased over the past few years.

Departments in charge of pricing have their reasons. They believe increasing fares help regulate the number of people wanting to travel, which alleviates the pressure on the groaning transport system, and make up for losses as the system's workload increases.

However, the rising prices do not necessarily put people off their family reunions.

No matter how much the fares increase - 20 per cent or even 50 per cent, Chinese will continue to travel.

The railway administration has benefited from the price hikes, which do not abide by the market rule of supply and demand.

Although few people travel on the first and second days of Spring Festival, the ticket prices are still high.

The price hikes cannot meet the intended goal of alleviating transport congestion. On the contrary, it does not encourage monopolized industries to sharpen their competitive edge. It helps them pool more money. As a result, the public interests are hurt.

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