Fares on buses and subways in Beijing will double from today as part of the capital's effort to spruce itself up for its bid to host the Olympic Games.
The cost of a single bus ride goes up to one yuan (HK$.88) from 0.5 yuan and a single subway ticket increases from two to three yuan. A monthly bus pass will go from 15 to 30 yuan and a monthly subway pass from 40 to 80 yuan.
The Transport Bureau defended the increases by pointing to the bid to host the Olympics in 2008, as well as the World Student Games at a later date, saying Beijing must improve its air quality.
It needs heavy investment in new 'clean-air' buses that are more expensive than present models. Only half the 8,250-strong fleet emit what is regarded as 'clean air'.
Even with the price increases the bus operations would still lose money.
Prices would need to be tripled to bring the company into the black, a city official said.
'After this, we will still need a subsidy,' he said.