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Beijing mulls price hikes on bus, subway fares

2014-07-04 10:16 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

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

Residents are encouraged to submit their suggestions on the fare pricing plans online, by email, telephone, fax or the chat app Wechat from July 3 to July 20. The request for public comment is jointly organized by the city's development and reform commission and the transport commission.

It is the first time for Beijing authorities to hear public opinions before creating a price hike program.

According to an official with the development and reform commission, the reform program will be based on residents' suggestions and a public hearing will also be organized before the price change.

To ease traffic congestion in the metropolis, the Beijing municipal government reduced bus tickets to as low as 40 Chinese cents (6.4 US cents) and to two yuan for subway tickets ahead of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Since then, prices have not changed. Recently, because of huge financial losses faced by the public transit system and safety concerns about overcrowded vehicles, there have been calls for price hikes on public transport.

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