The story appears on

Page A4

March 1, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Public Services

Lost umbrellas put a dampener on Metro scheme

COMMUTERS not returning umbrellas provided on loan at Metro stations have forced the operator to make the service on-request only.

The free service, called "Love Umbrella," was first launched six years ago. It was welcomed by commuters but the operator has had trouble keeping pace with lost stock.

While 20,000 umbrellas were first provided, this is down to 600, said Shanghai Shentong Metro Group.

A Metro official, surnamed Feng, admitted that at some stations "there are no umbrellas left."

The Metro authority said it would now gather the remaining umbrellas at key transit stations.

Commuters still can borrow umbrellas, provided they register their name and telephone number at the station's service center.

At first, the return rate was relatively high as there was a deposit of 20 yuan (US$3), said officials. However, when this was ended in 2008, the return rate began to fall.

At Metro Line 3's Caoxi Road Station, among the first to offer the service, it has been suspended as there are no umbrellas left, even though 200 umbrellas were added in 2008 and 2010, said station staff.

Dishonest commuters would leave fake numbers for the operator to call when they failed to return umbrellas within seven days, added Metro staff.

Where the service remains, it is on-request only. "We now only give umbrellas to those who ask, instead of handing them out at station entrances and exits," said an official, surnamed Zhuang, who supervises volunteer work along four subways.

Some commuters have suggested the operator reintroduces the deposit policy, but Metro officials are resisting this.

"It's against our purpose - the service is for the public good, after all," said a Metro official.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend