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Bus stop names bewilder commuters

BUS commuters in Nanchang, capital city of Jiangxi Province, are complaining they are confused by the names of the bus stops which are being changed too often, today's Legal Daily reported.

The city hall stop, for example, has now been renamed after a local plastic surgery hospital.

The city's bus companies sold the stop naming rights as advertising revenue to fund the maintenance of the bus service, according to an official surnamed Xiao with Nanchang Bus Company's advertisement unit.

"Maintenance costs up to 10 million yuan (US$1.46 million) each year," he said.

He declined to reveal how much it costs to sponsor a stop's name. Nor did he disclose how many of the city's 3,000 bus stops have been sold under the sponsorship scheme.

The names scheme has provoked complaints from visitors and local residents.

A visitor surnamed Xu who often goes to Nanchang on business said she took a No. 15 bus to the city's long-distance bus station last week, only to miss the stop because it had been renamed "Pudong Development Bank."

A local resident surnamed Li shared a similar problem.

He didn't get off at a department store stop after a ride on a No. 2 bus on May 7 because it had been renamed "qinqinbaobei" ("kiss baby").

He might still miss the store however - the stop is now renamed after a women's shopping mall.

Experts say bus stops, as public resources, should be named after landmarks and other public venues.

To replace the names with sponsoring company names is not in the public interest, said Li Yunlong, professor with the legal institute of Jiangxi Academy of Social Sciences.

"What has a clinic to do with me if I want to go to 'Bayi Square?'" challenged Li Guangman, a professor with Nanchang University's law school.

He was referring to the stop at the landmark square which is now called "Changgeng Health Check Clinic."

There is no law regulating the naming of bus stops, according to Tao Duanzheng, a counselor with Nanchang's place name management office.


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