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July 4, 2013

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Metro mulls free rides, rebates to beat rush

Shanghai's traffic authority is considering offering discounted tickets at the city's subways during non-peak hours to relieve the congestion during peak rush hours, officials said yesterday.

The traffic authorities will carry out further research to figure out how to use the price leverage to adjust the passenger flows during the peak hours, Zhou Huai, deputy director with Shanghai Transport and Port Administration told local legislators.

"It is possible for Shanghai to learn from cities like Melbourne in Australia to lower the subway ticket price before 7am," Zhou said.

Zhou said the city would not hike the ticket prices for rush hour travel because many local commuters had to use the subway during peak hours even if the prices were raked up.

"A higher ticket price during rush hour will be of no good because of the rigid demands of commuters and may also lead to public anger," he added.

The Metro operators are considering offering free rides between 5am and 6am every day, and half-price tickets between 6am and 7am like in Melbourne, said Ji Baohong, a local legislator.

"It is estimated that some 3,000 passengers can avail of the free and discounted tickets before 7am everyday, which is nearly the capacity of three fully loaded trains," Ji said.

The split prices are feasible technically with the city's traffic cards, but more research has to be done before it is enacted, the metro operator, Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, said in a reply to the legislator.

The operator also promised to further improve the capacity to meet the surging growth demand.

Shanghai currently has 12 Metro lines in operation, covering 488 kilometers. The Metro is expected to serve about 8 million people every day by 2015 - nearly half of the city's public transport users, said Sun Jianping, director of the Shanghai Transport and Port Administration.

Meanwhile, security checks at stations remain a controversial issue with some lawmakers proposing to keep out commuters who refuse to X-ray their bags. Many locals have for long insisted that the security checks are a waste of time and do not serve any purpose.


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