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November 3, 2011

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10,000 people a day dodge subway fares

NEARLY 10,000 passengers each day evade fares on Shanghai's 11 Metro lines, according to the subway operator.

The ratio of fare dodgers averages 0.18 percent of more than 5.5 million daily Metro passengers, Shanghai Shentong Metro Group said.

The percentages are higher at certain stations, such as People's Square.

Some dodgers jump over or duck under turnstiles. Others use elderly-only transport cards or fake certificates.

"It seems we have many (champion hurdler) Liu Xiangs at Metro stations," said Lan Tian, a Metro official. "Some are not ashamed of what they do, but rather seem proud and become frequent violators."

A staff member at People's Square Station yesterday said she spots more than 30 evaders every day, most of them from out of town.

"Some simply leave as though nothing has happened," she said. Those caught by Metro workers are usually asked to buy a ticket. "That's it," she said.

The subway operator loses more than 11 million yuan (US$1.73 million) a year because of fare dodgers.

One evader, who declined to be named, said: "The fares are too high."

The cheapest Metro ticket is 3 yuan.

Fare evaders face a maximum fine of 50 yuan, five times the highest Metro fare, according to regulations.

However, Metro officials said in most cases violators are asked to pay the due fare or receive only a verbal warning.

Metro officials said they were considering technical prevention, such as raising the height of turnstiles and lowering gate levels.


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