Beijing polls public opinion on bus, subway fares

Beijing polls public opinion on bus, subway fares

BEIJING - Beijing municipal authorities on Thursday launched public transportation reform, soliciting public comments on price hikes on bus and subway fares.

Beijing authorities have begun polling the public's opinion on a possible hike in fares for the city's public transport system on Thursday.

The new changes will be the first major adjustment in seven years. The Beijing Commission of Development and Reform and the Commission of Transport will poll the public's opinion on their websites until July 20.

Beijing's public transport system implemented a low-price policy in 2007 to encourage the use of public transport and to reduce traffic congestions.

Beijing's rail transit system currently implements a flat fare of 2 yuan ($0.32) per ride with free transfers on all lines except for its airport express line. The fare is the lowest among all rapid transit systems in China.

The city's bus system charges 0.4 yuan for each ride for holders of the yikatong, a smart card used for transportation and other purposes in the city. The fare is also among the lowest for bus systems nationwide.

But the low-price policy has forced the city to devote a large amount of subsidies each year to offset the losses for transport operators.

Local residents can go to http://www.bjpc.gov.cn/zt/jtxc/ to deliver their opinions.

They can also voice their opinions through snail mail and WeChat, a popular instant messaging platform in China.

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