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Eating, drinking on Metro punishable by up to 500 yuan fines in draft law

CITY lawmakers plan to ban eating and drinking on Metro trains and violators can be fined up to 500 yuan (US$81.68) along with those who smoke, urinate and beg on the subway as part of a new Metro management regulation being drafted.

The eating and drinking bans, which are controversial regulations among lawmakers and the public, were added into the new regulation draft for the first time today with another 11 banned activities, including stopping trains, jumping onto the rails and getting on or off the trains by force.
Though legislators previously discussed a ban, they had never written it into a draft law.

"It is necessary to ban eating and drinking on trains to ensure operating safety and good order, though some lawmakers and residents think it should not be made into a law," said Ding Wei, deputy director with the legislative affairs committee with the city's legislative body.

Some 80 percent of local respondents agreed to obey the ban in a public survey among officials and riders launched by the body, Ding said.

The legislative body will further review the draft and solicit public opinion to decide the final regulation by the end of the year.

The city's Metro operator, Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, has long been asking riders not to eat on the subway with little success.

The proposal raised lots of interest online today, with riders eager to know whether even bottled water would be banned. Some say what's lacking is specific information on how violations would be punished.

"I think it's a funny, and even a contradictory requirement," said Jim Wang, a daily rider. "If the operator would like to ban food and drink, why then allow food vending machines on the platforms?"

Zhou Beihua, a member of the city's top political advisory body, said earlier that other big cities around the world, like New York and Singapore, ban eating on transit systems and fine violators.

In a poll on the most viewed Metro online forum,, riders indicated they would most like to see a change in security check policies at Metro stations, followed by enhanced punishment for fare evaders, and next, restrictions on food.


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