The Nanfang / Blog

It Will Be Soon Be More Expensive to Ride the Subway and Bus in Beijing

Posted: 11/27/2014 2:33 pm

beijing metro platformThe long-delayed fare increase for the Beijing Metro and bus system is set to officially take effect on December 28.

The new fee to ride the Beijing subway and its buses is based on how far you’re going, rather than the current flat rate. A trip on the Beijing Metro longer than six kilometers will cost RMB 3, while a trip between six and 12 kilometers will cost RMB 4. A subway fare will cost RMB 5 for a commute between 12 and 22 kilometers, while a trip between 22 and 32 kilometers will cost RMB 6. After that, it will be RMB 1 for each additional 20 kilometers traveled.

Bus trips start at RMB 2 if a journey is 10 kilometers or less. If further than that, fares will be charged an additional RMB 1 for every five kilometres. Fares will discounted for transport card users: a commute under 10 kilometers will cost only RMB 1, and trips over 10 kilometers will be charged only RMB 0.50 more for each additional five kilometers.

The adopted fare increase is the second option that was earlier proposed by officials. The other proposed option favored lower rates for commuters taking short distance trips.

Here’s a chart of the fare increases; the ones for the subway are listed first, then the buses:

beijing metro fare hike subway busRelated:

Photo: People’s Daily Online, Xinhua



Beijing Metro Line 1 Finally Getting a Badly-Needed Safety Upgrade

Posted: 11/24/2014 9:30 am

beijing metro

Having served as the backbone of the Beijing subway system for more than 30 years, the ever-popular Line 1 is finally getting a modern upgrade: safety doors. Along with Line 2, the glass doors will be installed by 2017.

The new doors should help prevent accidents on the Line 1 and 2 subway tracks. Last Thursday, a man fell onto the tracks at Fuxingmen Station on Line 1, while the evening before saw a woman fall onto the tracks at Xuanwumen Station on Line 2, hitting her head. Both people were safely helped off the tracks.

While newer subway lines — Line 6, 8, and the extension of Line 10—are equipped with glass safety doors, accidents still happen. Earlier this month, a 33 year-old commuter was killed when she became trapped in the safety doors at a Line 5 station. And while the new safety doors are certainly an improvement, it has been revealed that they lack infrared sensors which detect commuters walking towards them, and therefore don’t always open when they should.

With new infrastructure often comes new costs, and with the Beijing Metro continuing to expand, fares are set to be raised in the near future.

Photo: takefoto


Shenzhen Isn’t Lining Up to Become a World Class City

Posted: 11/22/2014 4:55 pm

Those who commute using the Shenzhen Metro have heard them so often that they could probably recite them all from memory: the succinct requests for orderliness. “Disembarking precedes embarking” and “please hold the handrail and stand on the right when using the escalator.” But how often do people actually follow these rules?

On a recent Friday afternoon between one and two o’clock (observations were purposely made during non-peak hours) at Grand Theatre station in Luohu District, approximately 80 percent of passengers boarding trains did not wait for disembarking passengers, instead surging ahead at the same time as passengers tried to exit the train. People bumped into each other, pushed and shoved and did whatever it took – but with people moving in both directions in a small space at the same time, it seems like there was no way to proceed that didn’t involve these types of behavior.

“People don’t want to wait for others. They just want to worry about themselves,” Lin said. “When the train comes they just go. They do not think about the message telling them to wait.”

This is common in Shenzhen and in many other parts of China, and not just on the metro. On buses, elevators, escalators and more, people often push and shove, board before people can exit, and generally cause a ruckus despite having ample time to proceed in an orderly fashion.

On that same Friday afternoon at around four o’clock at Happiness Mansion apartment complex in Luohu District, eight out of ten times an elevator arrived at the ground floor, people tried to enter before people had exited. Some who were having a hard time exiting the elevator even recited part of that familiar phrase from the Metro system: ‘前下’ or ‘disembarking comes first’.

On escalators the rule is observed somewhat more closely. On a Thursday afternoon at Jingtian station between noon and one o’clock, approximately 20 percent of people stood on the left even when there was ample space on the right.

When asked about this phenomenon, a station staff member surnamed Sun said people don’t pay attention to the rules during rush hour. He also said operators adjust the amount of time the doors stay open to accommodate for the amount of passengers using the train at any given time. “When there are more people trying to board the train, the doors stay open for longer,” Tan said.

In other words, there is no need to rush into the train because passengers are not in danger of being trapped in the door or left behind as long as they are in line by the time the train arrives and follow the proper procedures.

It is more difficult, however, for station managers to know whether a person inside a train who wants to get off is unable to reach the exit due to people entering first – hence the rule.

‘Let ‘em out!’

Some might assume this is just the way things work in large cities. However, according to people surveyed in New York City, London and Sydney, these rules are followed, and even enforced by the commuters themselves.

Lauren Kraft, an American who has been in Sydney for almost one year, said “almost everyone is awesome” at standing to the right on escalators and letting people moving quickly pass.

Maya Rudolph, who lives in Beijing but lived in New York City for six years, said people usually follow the rule ‘disembarking precedes embarking’, with people often heard yelling the catchphrase “Let ‘em out” when people don’t follow the rules. And although the NYC subway system doesn’t have a lot of escalators, “it’s generally understood that the right side is for standing and left is for passing,” she said.

Charlotte Linton, a longtime Shenzhen expatriate who lived in London for four years and grew up on its outskirts, said people follow the disembarking precedes embarking rule “pretty much always.” As far as the escalator rule, people “always” follow it because “many people in London are in a hurry and they will not take kindly to people blocking the left side of the escalators and slowing them down.” She could not recall a single situation in which people were trying to exit and enter a train simultaneously.

Shenzhen isn’t alone in regards to lack of respect for Metro etiquette; Moscow reportedly has some issues as well. People generally stand on the right and walk on the left of escalators, according to Kristina Bison, an American who lived in Moscow for several years. However, she said things can be a bit of a “free for all” when the doors open to the Metro there during rush hour.

During rush hour, “after a while you kind of forget all the manners and etiquette we were all taught as kids and you…push and shove until you get what you want,” she said. “If you don’t push and shove your way out when that happens, you will never be able to get off the train.”

With Metro workers lacking the authority to punish people for breaking the rules, the problem has become endemic.

“Sometimes people don’t listen to me. All we can do is advise them. We cannot stop them with force. People shouldn’t be in a rush to enter the subway. They should line up. A minority of people are not aware of this rule,” said Huang Zili, team leader of security guards at Grand Theatre Station.

As Shenzhen pushes to become an international city, its leaders might want to consider trying to enforce the small things that make for a more pleasant experience in the city.


New Subway Line Connecting Beijing Railway Stations to Open Next Month

Posted: 11/20/2014 10:00 am

beijing metroBeijing will be adding more subway lines by the end of this year to make it even easier to get around the city.

The new express line will connect Beijing Railway Station to Beijing West Railway Station, connecting the two main stations in only 10 minutes. This new line is scheduled to open on December 26.

Metro Line 7 also aims to alleviate pressure on the transportation infrastructure in the southern part of the city, particularly on Line 1 and the Batong Line. Line 7 will interconnect with Lines 4 and 5, although its major interchange will be with Line 10 at Shuangjing Station.

Below are maps detailing the new developments. First, the express line between the two train stations, and then the new Beijing Metro Line 7:

beijing train station expressbeijing new line 7 extensionPhotos: scxxb, Caijing, Beijing News


Woman in Beijing Killed When Trapped Between Subway Safety Doors and Train Doors

Posted: 11/7/2014 11:09 am

beijing subway platform safety door fatality

Increased crowds on the Beijing subway are being blamed for the death of a woman when she became trapped between the platform safety doors and train doors when the train pulled out of the station.

It happened yesterday at 7:05pm at Huixinxijie Nankou Station on the Beijing Metro Line 5, which is a busy interchange station with Line 10.

Eyewitness Miss Zhou described what she saw:

A woman was trapped between the safety doors and the doors to the train. She was stuck there as the subway began to move. After the train left the station, the woman fell to the platform.

beijing subway platform safety door fatalityThe 33-year old Hebei woman was taken to hospital where the doctor on duty said the woman had a pulse and was breathing. The doctor said the woman had no visible injuries at first glance, but suffered from bruising and broken bones:

“Her chest had become all soft, so it is evident that she was trapped by the doors in that spot.”

She died of her injuries in hospital.

A similar incident happened a few years ago in Shanghai, when a young woman was also trapped between the doors as the train started moving. Eyewitnesses on the platform described the scene as harrowing.

There are more people riding the subway in Beijing this week because of car restrictions related to the APEC summit.

beijing subway platform safety door fatalityPhotos: People’s Daily Online, China Daily, Yangcheng Evening Report


No More Free Rides: Expats “Lose Face” Trying to Sneak Bikes onto Beijing Metro

Posted: 10/31/2014 9:15 am

expats bikes rejected metro beijingIt seemed there was a time when expats in China could do almost anything and get away with it. And while there may be still be a double-standard with regard to certain issues, one thing is for sure: expats aren’t allowed to take bicycles on the Beijing Metro anymore.

Three men identified as “laowai” were attempting to enter Dawanglu Station on October 29 at 10:10pm when they were barred from entering by staff at the security checkpoint, reports Sina. When that didn’t work, the trio tried to enter the station by using the exit channel, where they were again refused entry.

The Beijing Metro confirms passengers with over-sized packages such as bicycles are not allowed to take the train. Before angrily exchanging words and leaving, the expats were told by a station employee to ”not lose face for your country”.

Regardless of whether or not you value the concept of face, we’d urge all expats in China to refrain from bringing their bicycles on the Beijing Metro.

expats bikes rejected metro beijingexpats bikes rejected metro beijingexpats bikes rejected metro beijingexpats bikes rejected metro beijingPhotos: Southern Capital Report, Sina News


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


Beijing Times Reporter Bribed Not To Report On Sinkhole

Posted: 09/10/2014 9:00 am

bj subway construction sinkhole header

Several construction workers bribed a reporter with the Beijing Times at the scene of a massive sinkhole on Beijing Metro Line 14, reports Guangzhou Daily.

While attempting to report on the incident, the reporter was confronted by seven to eight workers wearing safety hats. He was accosted and had his camera taken away. The reporter was then photographed receiving a bribe to ensure the story would not be publicized.

According to an eye witness, the hole suddenly opened around 1PM on September 6. The 25 square meter hole, which was 5 meters deep, opened at the construction site directly below Guangshu South Boulevard, near the location of the future Line 14 Futong West subway station in Chaoyang District.

When the Beijing Times reporter arrived at the sinkhole around 2pm, police were not present, nor was there any containment of the area. Upon seeing the reporter, one of the construction workers reportedly said,

What are you doing? Don’t let him go, take away his camera and delete his photos!

No injuries were reported in the collapse of the road, though a nearby car had to be towed away.

bj subway construction sinkhole header

Four nearby businesses are currently closed as access to the road was cordoned off, and broken sewer pipes seeping raw sewage have left a foul smell in the air.

Construction workers for the Line 14 Futong Station construction company used two front loader dump trucks to fill in the massive sinkhole soon after the incident occurred.

On the evening of September 6, a spokesperson for the construction company named Mr. Guo, explained that due to heavy rains in Beijing, the soil beneath the road had swollen causing the sinkhole. However, according to Guangzhou Daily, the cause of the sinkhole was a collapse of a safety pillar required for the construction of the subway tunnel.

Photos: Guangzhou Daily


Fury In Hong Kong After MTR Train Runs Over Dog As People Tried to Save It

Posted: 08/21/2014 7:22 pm

hong kong dog killed MTR subwayHong Kong residents are outraged at local subway operator MTR, which is being blamed for a number of missteps that culminated in the death of a stray dog after being hit by a train.

The stray dog died when it was hit by the T801 train from Guangzhou at Sheung Shui Station at 10:30am on August 21.

The dog was first spotted around 9:50 in the morning by a commuter, after which train service was halted for six minutes while station personnel tried unsuccessfully to remove the dog from the tracks. The attempts included lowering a chair onto the tracks for the dog to hop onto. Unfortunately, the dog wasn’t rescued in time. After failing to get him off the tracks, train service resumed and the dog was killed a short time later.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the MTR said that it has an official procedure for dealing with this kind of situation:

There are clear guidelines for handling any reported track or unauthorized station entry by animals. In such circumstances, MTR staff will do their best to safely remove the animals while also ensuring the safety of passengers and their own safety at all times.

The incident has sparked a wave of anger among Hong Kong residents, some of whom have interpreted pictures of the stray dog on its hind legs as signalling its intention to climb up out of the tracks.

An online petition has been created, calling for a formal response from the MTR. So far 64,687 people have signed it (English version).

A memorial for the slain dog was held, while another commemoration service and a protest at MTR headquarters is planned.

hong kong dog killed MTR subway

Furthermore, animal rights group the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has announced its intention to meet with senior staff at the MTR Corporation. MIchael Wong of the SPCA refuted the MTR’s claims that it has an official procedure for dealing with stray animals.

The story of a stray animal wandering onto subway tracks has recalled a case from last year in which the New York City subway system was halted for two hours due to two kittens that were in danger of being struck by moving trains.

The cats were eventually rescued by a police officer.

hong kong dog killed MTR subway

Photos: Facebook, Yahoo


Watch: Foreigner Faints on Shanghai Metro, Other Passengers Run Away

Posted: 08/20/2014 11:46 am

foreigner faints on shanghai metro subway unconscious run away no help supportTen seconds is apparently all it takes to empty a subway car full of passengers.

That’s what happened on August 9 at 9:34pm when an unidentified foreigner entered a subway car on Line 2 of the Shanghai Metro at Jinke Station. After taking a seat, the man was seen shifting towards his right, his head nearly touching the shoulder of the middle-aged woman sitting next to him.

Soon after, the man suddenly fell on the floor and appeared to have lost consciousness, reports iFeng.

foreigner faints on shanghai metro subway unconscious run away no help support

foreigner faints on shanghai metro

The first reaction from the five passengers sitting across from the foreigner was to run away. As seen in a surveillance video on board the subway (below), all passengers rushed out of the car within ten seconds of the man falling to the ground.

News of “an incident” spread to adjoining trains, and caused a panic among the passengers. At the next station, subway commuters started spilling out of the train. In the ensuing stampede, a middle-aged man fell down and a woman slammed into a partition.

foreigner faints on shanghai metro

Throughout the entire time, no passengers were seen providing any assistance to the passed-out foreigner.

Metro staff boarded the train at the next stop to provide assistance, but by then the foreigner had regained consciousness. He stood up on his own and exited the train.

The man’s condition, like his identity, is unknown.

Here is the surveillance video from the incident:

Photos: iFeng, Beijing Youth Daily

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