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September 1, 2009

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Single Metro tickets cause multiple woes

SHANGHAI Metro authorities have a single issue that is causing them headaches and a heavy loss in revenue.

More than 8 million yuan (US$1.17 million) is being lost annually on unused single tickets and a lot are being kept as collectors' items or for later sale at a handy profit.

Some commuters fold the tickets, rendering them useless. Metro officials estimated between 9,000 and 10,000 tickets go missing or suffer damage each day on the city's eight lines and the number is increasing.

"We still cannot find a good way to stop this waste," said Lan Tian, an official with the local Metro operator.

Each single ticket costs the Metro authorities more than two yuan.

Normally, single tickets are recycled by turnstile machines. They are reused after being cleaned.

However, people have found some single tickets can be profitable.

For example, the price of old-fashioned tickets can be auctioned for up to 500 yuan on

Those tickets, no longer in use in subways, were the most valuable, said an online supplier surnamed Yang, who has been collecting and selling souvenir cards and tickets for years.

The authorities issue tickets as souvenirs for special occasions, such as the anniversary of an important event. Those were viewed as more valuable than normal ones, said Metro officials.

Officials also reminded commuters to stop jumping turnstile machines.

"They simply throw the ticket away once they huddle across the machines," said a Metro station worker.


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