Public ready to pay up for subway ride
MATTHEW MILLER in Guangzhou
Commuters are set to pay up to six times the normal bus fare to travel on the city's new subway system. And, it seems, the public don't mind at all.
Economic uncertainty and rising unemployment have left subway officials hard pressed to recoup the 12.7 billion yuan (HK$11.89 billion) investment in the city's first subway line.
But following a survey, the municipal price bureau and the Guangzhou Metro Operating Company felt justified in charging two to six yuan to use the service.
Nearly four out of five of the 336 people questioned were willing to pay the minimum two yuan charge, while nearly one in seven thought it highly acceptable, the Guangzhou Daily reported.
Just over half, 54.6 per cent, felt a six yuan full journey fare was reasonable. Some 27 per cent said it was too high.
The Guangzhou Metro, the mainland's third subway system, is set to start full operations in July next year.
Line One will cover 16 stations spread over 18.5km, and should be able to carry 27,900 passengers per hour one way.
Construction on the subway's 21km, 19-station No 2 Line began in July and will run from Xinzhou in Guangzhou's south to Xinshi Township, where it will link up with a light-rail system leading to Guangzhou's new airport.
Investment for No 2 Line could cost up to 10 billion yuan.