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Majority of Commuters Say Buses Too Crowded

04-10-2012 13:06 BJT

Most commuters who use public transportation in China's largest cities believe buses are severely crowded and inconvenient to use during rush hours, according to a recent survey.

Passengers line up at 6 a.m. to get on the No. 815 bus in Beijing on February 15, 2012.
[Photo: CFP]

China Youth Daily newspaper issued the survey results based on the responses of 1,365 people. Nearly 62 percent said they were unsatisfied with public transportation in the cities where they live and work, while 82.1 percent said they thought buses were too crowded and difficult to board and alight.

Nearly 45 percent believe public buses in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, the three major metropolises in the country, are the most crowded with passengers.

About 82.5 percent of the respondents said they worried about potential dangers on crowded buses; 61.6 percent said they became irritated about long waiting times; and 41.4 percent said they felt as though they lost their dignity on crowded buses.

Liu Bin, who works at a financial firm in Shanghai, said the buses there are so crowded that passengers can tell what others have eaten for breakfast from their breath.

Zhang Shuang, a student at the Communication University of China in Beijing, said the subway she takes was sometimes so crowded that she has found it difficult to get off the metro and once lost her mobile phone while trying to get out.

The report said crowded buses might result from a concentration of work time, poor transportation planning and development, and the overall layout of cities. About 78 percent of the survey respondents blamed the crowding on a concentration of work time when too many commuters take buses during rush hours; 74.2 percent said overall transportation planning was poor; 68.7 percent said public transportation could not meet the fast pace of urbanization; and nearly 53 percent did not believe there was a sufficient number of buses in cities.

Shi Jing, director of the Transportation Research Institute at Tsinghua University, said the root cause of the transportation problem is land utilization, which is determined by city planning, as most people are now concentrated in relatively small areas.

Niu Fengrui, vice president of the China Society of Urban Economy, said those who live in the suburbs and work in downtown areas require more time for their daily work commutes and therefore use more public resources.

To solve the problem, nearly 75 percent of the respondents said municipal governments should add more buses during rush hours, while 61 percent said they expected to see special bus lines added. While 52.3 percent of the respondents said they preferred to work at staggered times to avoid rush hours, 71.5 percent suggested local governments invest more in public transportation. Nearly 71 percent believe that city transportation planning should serve public transportation, and 85.8 percent expressed their preference for buses over privately owned cars, if the buses were not crowded.

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CRI

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