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Beijing, Tianjin plan monthly train pass

By Liang Shuang in Beijing and Zhang Min in Tianjin | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-08 07:31

Beijing, Tianjin plan monthly train pass

A driver checks a high-speed train before it heads from Tianjin to Beijing South Railway Station on Jan 25.[Photo by Yang Baosen/Xinhua]

Beijing and Tianjin are planning a monthly pass for high-speed intercity trains linking the cities, as well as canceling expressway toll fees between the two cities, the mayor of Tianjin said on Monday.

The move will facilitate the integrated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province, an outline given in 2015 to improve transportation links in the area, while also moving some of Beijing's low-end industries to neighboring areas.

Wang Dongfeng, mayor of Tianjin, said the plan is to build a modern transportation system. He added that a unified smart prepaid traffic card, called Yikatong, already exists in 12 cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, and the government aims to expand its use to all cities in the area by the end of this year.

In addition to universal traffic cards and expressways, the proposal of a high-speed train network in the region was approved last year, with Beijing-Binhai New Area Intercity Railway expected to be completed by 2020.

The Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway was the first of its kind in China. Traveling at up to 350 kilometers per hour, passengers can commute between the cities in about 40 minutes on trains that depart every 10 to 15 minutes.

Officials from Tianjin's transportation bureau said they are still deliberating the monthly pass mechanism and a timetable is not available.

Potential benefactors are eagerly awaiting the implementation of the planned policies.

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