A cut in Beijing subway fares of about 30 percent from 3 yuan (40 cents) to 2 yuan has increased the number of passenger traveling on the system, a Beijing Mass Transit Railway Operation Corp Ltd official said yesterday.
Mass transit railway publicity director Jia Peng said metro lines in Beijing carried about 21.35 million passengers from October 7-15, an increase of 30 percent since the 2-yuan pricing system was implemented, on October 7.
On Tuesday, the number of passengers on the subway was a record 2.65 million, Jia said.
Line 5, which runs from north to south, has carried a daily average of 376,000 passengers since it started operating on October 7, Jia said.
"The metro transport network has been getting really busy, especially during the week, after the one-way 2-yuan price system was introduced. It has helped boost the development of public transportation," Jia said.
Beijing now has five metro lines, with 93 stations and a total track length of 142 km. Recently, construction of six more metro lines was approved in the capital city.
A Beijing municipal government notice said three subway lines, comprising 200 km of track, will become operational next year.
Jia said the number of train journeys will be increased, possibly by the end of the year, or in the first quarter of next year. This will be achieved by shortening the delay between trains leaving the station.
For instance, on Line 1, instead of the current 2 minutes and 45 seconds delay between trains, there will be a 2 minutes and 30 seconds delay.
In another development, Line 5 was suspended for about half an hour from 8:50 am yesterday, stranding hundreds of passengers along the routes, the Beijing News reported.
The cause is still under investigation, and the newspaper quoted a station staff member as saying the engine of a train had broken down.
The line is on a one-year trial and the Beijing Mass Transit Railway Operation Corp Ltd has appealed to the public for patience in case of any problems.
(China Daily 10/18/2007 page3)