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Masses left behind with rail projects

2014-06-19 13:33 Global Times Web Editor: Qin Dexing

Over the past several years, it's been a hard sell getting Chinese travelers to use the country's new high-speed rail system. Many within the public have complained about high ticket prices, saying that the much vaunted high-speed rail program has been little more than a waste of resources.

But one expert from China Railway Group told the media a different story recently. In his view, empty carriages give passengers better views. Moreover, as he apparently sees it, the problem is not that tickets are too expensive, but that most peoples' incomes are too low.

This muddled line of reasoning provoked a wave of criticism from the public. Such opinions obviously reflect a value system that prioritizes the demands of a wealthy few, not the majority of society.

Those who can afford to enjoy the view do not include passengers with modest incomes. Vacant carriages represent the squandering of public funds, which are collected from all taxpayers. There is clearly a demand for affordable high-speed rail travel that is going unmet. But as is typically the case in China, who can stand up to a monopoly?

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