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August 18, 2010

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Commuters want cool-air blast

SQUASHED like sardines but hardly feeling the cool breeze from the air-conditioners, that's how passengers feel in some of city's subway trains and buses.

With the city in the grip of a heat wave in recent days, the air conditioning in public transport facilities has come in for withering criticism from commuters. Some bus drivers have been accused of tamping down on the air conditioning while the cooling system in subway trains has suffered frequent breakdowns.

The local bus watchdog said it would start putting up signs on city buses, saying "passengers are entitled not to pay fares if buses fail to keep the air-conditioner/heater on" during the scorching summer and chilly winter.

According to local regulation, bus operators should turn on the air-conditioning when temperatures in the bus surpass 28 degrees Celsius from June 1 to September 30 or drop below 12 degrees from December 1 to April 1.

Fei Tanhao, an official with Pudong bus company, conceded that sometimes it was hard to adjust the air conditioning to satisfy all passengers as some might feel hot and others cold.

Similar is the dilemma on the metro.

The highly-crowded train carriages are still an uncomfortable means to travel regardless of the air conditioning, according to the metro operator, Shanghai Shentong Metro Group.

But the operator said it would increase on-board spot checks to prevent breakdowns. Passengers can also dial a hotline (6437-0000) to inform subway staff about faulty air conditioning.


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