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Beijing subway fares to rise


10-29-2014 06:18 BJT

Beijing has the world's cheapest public transport system, but not for much longer. Transport officials in the Chinese capital say they're going to raise ticket prices on the subway and buses, after years of price capping. Currently, every subway journey in the city, however long or short, costs just 2 yuan - that's around 30 US cents. Now, prices will be set according to the distance of each journey.

Officials say the new fares will start at 2 or 3 yuan, with average fares likely to now be just over 4 yuan. So, let's look at one extreme example. One of the longest journeys in the capital is travelling east-west right across the city, from one end of Line 1 to the other. That's about a 30 kilometer ride. That will set you back 9 yuan - a dollar and a half - nearly five times higher than the current price.

If you take that journey to and from work for 20 days each month, then your monthly commute will set you back 360 yuan. To counter the cost for daily commuters, there'll be a new discount plan for the "Beijing Superpass", which can save more than a hundred yuan per month. The way it works is that when your monthly fares come to more than a hundred yuan, further fares are discounted at 20 percent. Once you pass 150 yuan, fares get discounted by 50 percent.

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