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July 21, 2012

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Claim that Metro rides average 2.4 yuan upsets public

A SINGLE statistic, released this week by Shanghai's traffic authority, caused an uproar among local Metro commuters.

Shanghai's Traffic and Port Administration Bureau said on Thursday that "the fare costs on public transportation has seen a decrease." A bureau report said each Metro ride costs 2.4 yuan (38 US cents) on average, a 14 percent drop compared with 2005.

"Where's that figure coming from?" a local commuter wrote on the Internet soon after the report was released, questioning its accuracy. The commuter pointed out that the lowest Metro ticket price downtown is 3 yuan.

An online debate took off, putting officials on the hot seat. In the end, they released more information.

The traffic administration explained yesterday that the figure indicates how much a passenger spends on a trip that may include multiple rides, or legs of the journey.

"Take a Metro trip involving two lines with a total payment of 4 yuan, then it's considered that the cost on a single Metro route is 2 yuan (4 yuan divided by 2 routes)," said Huang Xiaoyong, an official with the administration.

He explained how they arrived at the figure on his Weibo microblog.

But Huang's words didn't satisfy everyone.

"I do not understand that," said a daily subway rider surnamed Xu. "I still pay 4 yuan each day for work, not 2.4 yuan, right?"

Others were blunter on the Internet. "This statistics figure mean nothing to the commuters as the Metro tickets are not lower," one comment said. Others called it "a statistics trick" after Huang's post was retweeted hundreds of times.

By late yesterday - after more than a day of debate - traffic officials released additional information.

They noted that their study found each Metro rider takes 1.65 transit rides, or legs, on the average trip on the Metro.

Huang wrote an online update saying that, "on the basis of each rider, the average payment a passenger makes for a Metro journey is 3.96 yuan (2.4 yuan multiplied by 1.65 transit rides)."

"Now it seems a little bit reasonable," one passenger said.


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