Railway ticket prices to be increased during Spring Festival
Updated: 2006-01-10 22:00
The Chinese Ministry of Railways (MOR) announced here Tuesday that the prices
of train tickets will increase before the traditional Spring Festival, or
China's Lunar New Year, which will fall on Jan. 29 this year.
Ticket to ride: Students in Shaanxi Province queue up to buy
train tickets back home for Spring Festival January 3 2006, in a ticket
office in Shaanxi International Exhibition Centre in Xi'an. The office has
16 windows just for students. [Xinhua]
The ministry said the price hike is intended to control passenger flow during
the peak travel period.
According to the ministry, the price of hard seat tickets will rise by 15
percent and price of other tickets will rise by 20 percent from Jan. 21 to 27
and days after Jan. 31.
The ticket prices that will be increased are mainly tickets of trains
launched in areas under the jurisdiction of the railway bureaus of Beijing,
Shanghai and Guangzhou.
The State Development and Reform Commission held a public hearing about
ticket price hike in 2002 in which the price fluctuation was approved. In the
past three years, the ministry raised train ticket prices during the peak season
by 15 percent to 20 percent.
Critics have said that the hearing was held three years ago and does not
comply with the current situation. But the ministry said the guiding price will
be carried out in the future years.
Lines that raise their ticket price account for 12 percent of the total line,
a MOR official acknowledged, adding that this is not too much.
The ministry, in order to encourage people not to take trains during peak
days, will also reduce ticket prices from January 28 to 30 (three days around
the traditional lunal new year, which people usually spend at home) by 10
percent, the MOR official said.