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Inter-city commute a problem

Updated: 2013-12-25 07:51
( China Daily)

Skyrocketing housing prices coupled with restrictions on purchase of property have forced hundreds of thousands of white-collar workers in Beijing to live in Yanjiao, a town in neighboring Hebei province. Although it has become easier to travel between Yanjiao and Beijing, crowded buses and trains and the long time the journey takes have made life difficult for commuters, says an article in Southern Metropolis Daily. Excerpts:

The Internet is full of self-pity remarks by white-collar workers forced to take public transport to commute between cities everyday. And if you thought the condition of people who travel by cars - and are thus not exposed to crowded public transport - is better you are wrong, because they have to encounter nightmarish traffic jams almost daily.

The media have highlighted the plight of inter-city commuters perhaps because many reporters are also among the group. The issue calls for the authorities' attention because the commuters have to brave Spring Festival-like traffic on a daily basis. Last week, an expert who supported the proposed increase in subway fares claiming that "passengers travel for no reason during morning and evening rush hours" was justifiably criticized by the public, especially by those who have to travel in overcrowded subway trains for a couple of hours every day.

It is understandable why many people employed in Beijing live in neighboring Tianjin municipality or Hebei province. People are attracted to the capital because of greater opportunities, higher salaries and better career prospects.

But the moment a person from a smaller city chooses to work in a bigger city, he in a way forfeits many of his/her joys such as having dinner with the family.