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Metro bid to ban eating overlooked

2013-11-22 09:36 Shanghai Daily Web Editor: Wang Fan

The new Metro regulations for Shanghai will come into effect from the start of next year with harsher fines put in place, but the controversial eating and drinking bans will not happen.

The Shanghai People's Congress yesterday approved the long-awaited changes to the Shanghai Metro Traffic Operation Regulation that allows refunds to passengers in the event of delays and hefty fines for ticket evaders.

But the ban on drinking and eating in the subways was overlooked as both the lawmakers and citizens argued against it.

The new regulation states that passengers will be eligible for a fare refund if a Metro train is delayed for more than 15 minutes due to malfunction.

They can get refunds on their tickets or public transport card.

Tougher punishment will be meted out to fare evaders such as those using senior citizen transport cards or fake certificates. The names of fare evaders will be entered into a credit blacklist that can affect chances of getting loans or jobs.

Evaders who jump over or slip under ticket turnstiles will be fined five times the highest single trip ticket price, which is 9 yuan. Those using senior citizen cards or fake certificates to travel will be fined 10 times the highest ticket price.

The documents will be confiscated and those caught with fake certificates, such as those for soldiers or the disabled, will be turned over to police. Over 100,000 fare evaders were caught last year and a total of 500,000 yuan recovered from them.

Those caught smoking, urinating and begging face a maximum fine of 500 yuan (US$81.67). Other bans with the same maximum fine include intercepting a train, getting on to the tracks, tunnels or other restricted areas, jumping over barriers, handrails and turnstile, getting on or off the trains by force.

Defecating, spitting chewing gum, littering, scribbling, painting or pasting posters, setting up stalls, entertaining people for money, distributing brochures/fliers or other sales activities are also banned.

Live poultry, cats, dogs (except guide dogs) or other pets, portable bicycles (including folded bicycles) will not be allowed into the stations.

The Metro operator, Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, has long been asking subway riders to refrain from eating and drinking on the trains, but have had very little success.

Commuters, however, were more keen on changes in the way security checks are carried out at the Metro stations.

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