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Beijing Subway to Get More Expensive, You Can Choose by How Much

Posted: 10/13/2014 3:56 pm

public transportation card beijing subway busThe proposal last year to raise the long-established flat fare of RMB 2 for the Beijing subway kick-started a public crisis. Beijing residents complained mercilessly about the unfairness of the raise, citing issues like the poverty gap, traffic gridlock, and urban sprawl.

Now, in a display of openness, Beijing has publicly shared details about the upcoming fare change that includes a choice of different pricing plans.

A flat fare system will not be used for both buses and subways. Instead, a meter system will calculate the cost of each individual commuter’s trip based on the distance traveled, similar to the metro systems in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

An average subway fare is expected to cost between RMB 4.3 to 4.4, while the average bus fare should range between RMB 1.3 to 1.5.

public transportation card beijing subway bus

There will also be discounts for frequent commuters. Those who spend RMB 100 a month on public transportation will receive a 20 percent discount, while those who spend RMB 150 a month will receive 50 percent off.

A number of different pricing plans are being shown to the public to see which one is most palatable. Here’s the first option for the subway:

  • the first 3 kilometers of a trip costs RMB 2
  • an additional 3-6 kilometers will cost an additional RMB 3
  • for a 6-18 kilometer trip, each 6 kilometers (discounting the previously mentioned base amount) will cost an additional RMB 1
  • for an 18-42 kilometer trip, each 12 kilometers (discounting the previously mentioned base amount) will cost an additional RMB 1
  • for trips over 42km, each 18 kilometers (discounting the previously mentioned base amount) will cost an additional RMB 1
  • there is no upper limit on how high a fare can get

Here’s the second option:

  • the first 6 kilometers of a trip costs RMB 3
  • a trip lasting 6-12 kilometers will cost RMB 4
  • for trips between 12-32 kilometers, there is an additional RMB 1 for each 10 kilometers  (discounting the previously mentioned base amount)
  • for trips over 32km, there is an additional RMB 1 for each additional 20 kilometers  (discounting the previously mentioned base amount)
  • there is no upper limit on how high a fare can get

And if you don’t know what you’re paying for, here’s what riding the Beijing subway looks like:

beijing subwayPhotos: iFeng, Beijing Youth Report (2)


Chinese Circumvent Ban on Electric Bikes by Removing a Wheel

Posted: 09/28/2014 10:48 am

electric unicycle

Electric bikes have been banned in many cities across China in recent years, leaving creative residents to come up with a way around the law. While some residents have gone back to traditional modes of transportation like bicycles and public buses, people in Foshan, Guangdong have circumvented the ban by subtracting a wheel.

electric unicycle

The electric unicycle has become a growing trend with a younger generation of male Chinese consumers over the past two years. Retail stores are selling the “new-styled” vehicle to a growing market of people in Guangzhou, Foshan, Chancheng, Nanhai and Shunde. They first appeared on the market in the United States in 2001.

Huazai, the manager of one such e-unicycle store near Baihua Plaza, tells Foshan Online of the vehicles specifications. Priced between RMB 1,800 and RMB 5,000, the electric unicycle weighs about 10 kilograms, can recharge its battery within an hour, and has a total travel distance of 15 kilometers. With a top speed of 16 kilometers per hour, it goes just as fast as a bicycle.

Huazai said the e-unicycle is easy to use, convenient to carry, and easy to park. This makes it perfect for short commutes to and from work.

electric unicycle

Though riding one looks like a precarious proposition, using an electric unicycle is simplified through the use of an onboard gyroscope. Controlling this vehicle is all done intuitively by shifting one’s body weight: leaning forward is go, back is brake, and steering is leaning in either direction, similar to how a Segway works. Huazai said that anyone can master using it in a couple of days.

So when too you are faced with prohibitive laws that seemingly restrict what you are able to do, take a cue from Chinese ingenuity and embrace your limitations. Where two wheels can’t go, one wheel is not covered by existing regulations.

electric unicycle


Photos: Foshan Daily


Guangzhou’s Subway Map To Soon Look Like Tokyo’s

Posted: 09/17/2014 6:07 pm

guangzhou foshan metro map 2018 subway

To call this tentative plan for the 2018 combined subway systems of Guangzhou and Foshan ”ambitious” would be to describe “humongous” as “partially hefty”.

By 2018, the Guangzhou and Foshan subway systems will have seven interchange stations, Foshan will boast a total of eight subway lines, and Guangzhou will have a staggering 23.

To put things in perspective, the Guangzhou Metro currently has nine lines whereas Foshan only has one.

This map shows lines that are planned for construction and those currently being developed. As reported by the Zhujiang Times, not all lines are 100 percent confirmed. (Click here for a high resolution map)

Guangzhou has three new lines currently being developed in conjunction with the extension of three existing lines, while Foshan is working on two new lines with one line extended.

Guangzhou metro long term plan map

The 2018 map is very similar to the “long-term plan” posted by the Urban Planning Bureau of Guangzhou back in 2010. (Seen above; click here for the high resolution version)

We’ll have to note that completed subway lines 2 through 8 for the Foshan Metro are actually scheduled for 2020 and beyond, so it doesn’t look like everything will be in place by 2018. In any case, you’d better charge up your cellphone for some serious subway commuting in the near future.

Photos: Zhujiang Times, Wikipedia


The Days This Month When Beijing Traffic Will Become Downright Awful

Posted: 09/2/2014 1:00 pm

beijing traffic jam gridlockLong ago, benevolent leaders in China would inform their subjects of which days of the year were optimal for sowing seeds and harvesting crops. That tradition continues in 2014, but the focus has changed to something much more modern: now leaders are informing citizens which days to avoid Beijing traffic.

While the capital is already infamous for its traffic congestion, September is expected to be absolute worst month due to the Mid-Autumn Festival, National Day, the beginning of the school year, fall promotions in malls, and visiting relatives.

In fact, the Beijing Municipal Commission on Transport can even pinpoint particular days to avoid. They are September 4, 5, 15, 22, 26 and 28, 29 and 30.

To try to combat the girdlock, local authorities will be trying a bunch of different strategies including launching a Public Transportation Promotion Week, No Car Days, new private bus lines, and shortening the length between subway cars to just three minutes on Beijing Metro Line 6 between 5pm and 7pm,

[h/t WSJ China Real Time]

Photo: etu6


Foreigner In Chengdu Grabs Steering Wheel of Moving Bus, Assaults Driver

Posted: 08/26/2014 3:50 pm

expat assaults bus driver chengduA bus driver in Chengdu is outraged after a belligerent foreigner grabbed his steering wheel and started pressing buttons after missing his bus top, putting himself and other passengers in danger.

Yang Tao, a bus driver with Chengdu Dongxin Public Buses, says he was shocked by the man’s behavour. “He has no sense of safety awareness at all,” he said.

The incident happened last Friday (August 22) after a foreigner boarded his bus. Yang describes the passenger as around 30 years old, slim, and with blond hair. “A classic European-American look,” Yang said.

The first sign of trouble happened the second the foreigner boarded. He only paid 2 mao rather than the 2 yuan fare, and then pretended not to understand Putonghua when the driver protested.  ”If he pretends not to understand me, then there’s nothing I can do,” Yang said. “The only thing left to do is to continue with the bus route.”

expat assaults bus driver chengdu

Yang said everything was fine until the foreigner came to the front because he missed his stop. The passenger wanted Yang to pull over and let him off. “I need to take care of the entire bus, so I rejected his request.” Instead, Yang tried using English by saying “Next.”

expat assaults bus driver chengdu

Unfortunately, the foreigner didn’t take it well. “I need to get off, and if you don’t allow me to get off then you are wrong!” he said.

The foreigner came over to the driver’s position, and started randomly pushing buttons on the dashboard in order to open the bus doors. Then he then tried to wrestle control of the steering wheel away from Yang while the bus was moving.

expat assaults bus driver chengdu

That wasn’t all: after finally reaching the next stop, the foreigner gave the bus driver a parting shot to the head. Yang was, to put it mildly, not impressed:

He was very impolite, and without any safety awareness at all. In the end, he hit me on the head. Even though his head strike did not cause any pain, he was still very insulting.

Yang said people from developed countries should have a better awareness of safety.

Chengdu may have a problem with foreigners behaving badly on public transit; another visitor was caught behaving poorly in this video.

Photos: Xinhuanet


Guangzhou to Open New Metro Connection to High-Speed Rail Line

Posted: 08/8/2014 11:30 am

qingsheng station guangzhou metroBy late next year, you’ll be able to take Guangzhou’s Metro Line 4 to hop on the high-speed rail.

After the transportation lines are connected and Qingsheng Station is finished, a trip on Guangzhou’s Metro Line 4 from University Town to the high-speed rail will take only half an hour, reports Guangzhou Daily.

Qingsheng Station on Line 4 is currently Guangzhou’s first operational metro station to undergo the necessary modifications, and is expected to be fully operational by December 2015. The station will be the second high-speed rail interchange, after Guangzhou South Railway Station.

The fare from Qingsheng Station to Shenzhen will be RMB 49.5, and the trip is expected to take only 28 minutes under optimal conditions.

There are currently 13 high-speed trains traveling between Guangzhou South Railway station and Shenzhen. The plans for an inter-provincial high-speed rail connecting Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong were recently delayed.


Photo: gzmtr


Xinjiang Bars Muslims from Public Transport to Ensure Safety

Posted: 08/6/2014 1:33 pm

headdress busIf you’re a Muslim, you may wear a headdress or veil, have a long beard, or display the crescent moon and star, a symbol of Islam. But if you do any of those traditional things, there’s a good chance you’ll be facing discrimination in the Xinjiang city of Karamy over the next couple of weeks.

From August 5th to the 20th, anybody in Karamay City wearing face veils, niqab, burqas, clothing bearing the crescent and star or anyone with a long beard will be prevented from using public transportation, reports Caijing.

The crackdown comes at the same time an athletic competition will be held in the city for the 13th year in a row. As explained in the report, the temporary ban will be instituted to ensure public safety during the games. Bus drivers are to notify police of anyone not complying with the temporary ban. As well, an inspection policy will make spot checks of all baggage carried on board public transportation.

Xinjiang has experienced violence in recent weeks from what state media describe as terror attacks. On August 3, state media reported a “gang” killed 37 civilians, while 59 attackers were killed by security forces. In July, tensions were again raised when students were forced to break their fast during Ramadan.


Photo: Pittsreport


Special Bus Windows in Guangzhou Break Themselves In Case of Emergency

Posted: 07/22/2014 12:04 pm

automatic bus window exit guangzhou

Approximately 70 Guangzhou buses have been equipped with windows that break themselves in case of an emergency, reports Sina.

The automatic window breakers are controlled by the bus driver, who can destroy all of the windows on the bus with the flick of a switch. They take between 0.1 and 0.3 seconds to completely shatter. Guangzhou bus routes #205, #208 and #275 are the first to be equipped with the technology.

Hopefully the breakers will help prevent incidents like the one that occurred earlier this month, when a disgruntled man with gambling debts set fire to a Guangzhou bus, causing two fatalities and 35 injuries.

automatic bus window exit guangzhou


Photos: CRI


Video Shows Hangzhou Arsonist Setting Fire to Crowded Bus

Posted: 07/7/2014 11:46 am

hangzhou arson public bus fire

[This report contains images which may be disturbing to some readers.]

An arson suspect has been identified in the Hangzhou public bus fire that injured 32 people on July 5, reports CCTV News.

READ: Arson Suspected in Hangzhou Bus Fire

Hangzhou police have released video footage from the surveillance camera on the #7 public bus which shows the suspect setting the fire. The suspect is a male in his 30s with short hair, slightly overweight, and in a light colored T-shirt with a backpack.

hangzhou arson public bus fire

Caixin reported the suspect boarded the bus at 4:09pm and sat in the reserved priority seating in front of the rear doors. Nearly a full hour later at 5:03pm, the suspect poured a flammable liquid from his backpack onto the floor of the bus, and then ignited it with a lighter.

Eyewitnesses, such as Xiao Cheng from Jiangxi Province, confirmed that this is the guy who started the fire.

RELATED: Six Dead as Tour Bus Flips in Chongqing

The suspect also apparently blocked the doorways, according to one witness:

The front and rear doors of the bus were opened. The fire was strongest at the back. There was a man inside the bus that tried to block the rear doors. He didn’t want to come out, but he kept crying and yelling and asking to be saved.

hangzhou arson public bus fireThe suspect was rescued from the bus and is being treated at a local hospital, though his identity has not yet been confirmed. He received burns to 100% of his body and is listed in serious condition. From the video, the suspect can be seen sitting down amid the fire while other passengers tried to escape.

Six people are now reported to be in serious condition, up from five people reported on Saturday. The following surveillance video shows the suspect setting the fire at 0:57:

Photos: CCTV News


[Graphic Video] Arson Suspected in Hangzhou Bus Fire

Posted: 07/6/2014 11:14 am

hangzhou bus fire arson[Warning: this post contains graphic images which may be upsetting to some readers]

A fire suspected to be arson onboard a public bus in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province has injured 32 people, five of which are in serious condition, reported Caijing.

The fire broke out on the #7 public bus at around 5pm at the intersection of Qingchun Road and Dongpo Road in an area next to the city’s famous West Lake.

The Hangzhou Public Security Bureau said there were 80 passengers on board the bus.

hangzhou bus fire arson

Miss Cheng, 16, sustained burn injuries from the fire. Cheng said many people on board were arguing with a middle-aged man wearing a backpack right before the fire started. At least two people have already been noted for their bravery in trying to rescue people on board.

The first is Mr Li, who owns the Qiantang magazine kiosk right in front of the burning bus. When he saw smoke and flames, Li took a chair and tried to smash the bus windows to free the passengers trapped inside, and then helped people get down. Li also tried to use a fire extinguisher.

hangzhou bus fire arson

The second is Mr Tang, who was passing by when the incident occurred. He took the lock from his electric scooter and tried to use it to break the bus windows in order to help passengers escape the burning vehicle.

Reports describe the engine and the chasis of the bus as not sustaining any damage from the fire, suggesting the fire didn’t originate from within the bus’ mechanics. Instead, damage to the bus is said to be most extensive in the middle of the bus.

Police have announced they have identified an arson suspect based upon eyewitness accounts, evidence and surveillance video.

The following eyewitness video shows a scene of chaos as several people rush to try to free the people trapped in the burning bus by using such objects as a sidewalk sign:

hangzhou bus fire arsonhangzhou bus fire arsonhangzhou bus fire arsonhangzhou bus fire arsonhangzhou bus fire arsonhangzhou bus fire arsonhangzhou bus fire arsonhangzhou bus fire arsonhangzhou bus fire arsonhangzhou bus fire arsonhangzhou bus fire arsonhangzhou bus fire arsonhangzhou bus fire arsonhangzhou bus fire arsonhangzhou bus fire arsonhangzhou bus fire arson

Photos: China News, People’s Daily, China Daily, Caijing (2), Guangzhou Live

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