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January 29, 2013

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Metro fare evaders will feel credit blow

A CITY database will be set up during the first half of this year to mete out stiffer punishment to those who repeatedly commit smaller violations such as riding the subway without paying or running red lights, official said.

Such violators may find their credit damaged, making it harder to get a loan, the local top political advisory body was told.

"I believe that many evaders won't do it again once linked to the credit system," said Yan Shuang, a member of the advisory body. Yan said unfavorable records also will affect job-hunting and education.

Subway ticket evasion has garnered much public attention after a TV news program showed how frequent the violation is late last month.

The government is still working on details of punishment standards. Similar systems have been used in some Western countries like Germany.

The system is to start affecting violators' credit in the first half this year, authorities said. One official said the government hopes it will make up for the "loopholes of the illicit deeds that are small enough not to be qualified for criminal punishment but undermine social morality."

Some said the punishment will have little impact on evaders who are from out of town, and for whom loans are of little concern.

"The better way is to increase the penalty on the evaders," said a rider, surnamed Lin, "How many of those evaders will apply for loans? Few."

The maximum penalty is 50 yuan (US$8.06).

Other evaders are Shanghai citizens who use counterfeit senior citizen cards and other fake certificates that allow free rides.

The Shanghai Metro operator caught over 100,000 people trying to travel without paying last year, and a total of 500,000 yuan has been recovered from them, said Metro officials.


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