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Xinguanren project 6. A problem of identity

May 7, 2012

Concerning the system of Railway tickets printed with the purchaser’s name — the acceptable types of proofs of identity has been expanded –distinguishing genuine and fake tickets is now possible


Guangzhou Economy Net, Zhu Jinjin reporter

In this years increased transport for the Spring Festival, the railway departments are launching a trial experiment in expanding acceptable proofs. of identity that can be used to purchase tickets. The Deputy manager of the Guangzhou Railway, and Director of the office for increased spring festival transport, Chen Min, told this reporter, they will now accept 35 types of proofs of identity. Not only that, but they have gone a step further in improving their ability to detect fake tickets.

According to Chen Min, they have a scanner automatically linked to a database that can ascertain whether a ticket is genuine or fake, because each ticket has printed on it the purchaser’s unique identification number,

When this reporter went to the Guangzhou railway station to investigate, at the special entrance for those with name imprinted tickets, only those persons whose ticket number and identity card number matched were allowed to enter the station. Last year there was a wait of about 10 seconds to enter the station, but this year it was down to 3 to 5 seconds.

Moreover, if by chance a person does not have identity documents with him or her, at the temporary special window where identification is checked, these persons have only to give their identification serial number, and their identity can be checked.

Guangzhou and Chengdu railways began this system of name imprinting tickets last year. This year the Nanchang (capital of Jiangxi) railroad will oversee the extension of this system to eight railway stations in Jiangxi province on a trial basis.

konjaku: the following incident may be trivial, but in these trivialities we can see the system in operation.

A woman buys a “true name” imprinted ticket, but what appears is a ticket with another person’s name

As this newspaper reported, (Reporter, Xiong Jiayan)yesterday, the first day of the spring rush at the Wuhan-Gaungzhou high speed railway, a woman from  Zhongshan named Liu, using her identity card ordered a ticket by phone. When she went in person to the agent to pick up her ticket with her smart identification card(chip enabled “second generation” card), what came out of the printer was a ticket with a different name and identity number, in other words, a “ticket not with the true name.” The woman was greatly surprised, and the railway employee was quite perplexed. The railway has for its part stated, that this strange event could only have been caused by the woman having given an incorrect identity number over the phone. The possibility that there was some error in the system is nearly impossible. At the end, the woman could only get a deducted (partial) refund of 67 yuan on the ticket, and she had to go to the Guangzhou South station to buy another ticket.

Yesterday morning at 11, this reporter went to the number two ticket window at the South Station to investigate, and met Mrs Liu and a worried looking railway employee, to inquire. Mrs Liu said, “on 1-18 in Zhongshan I reserved my ticket using my cell phone. Yesterday when I went to the ticket agent to pick it up. When I ordered it I used my cell phone to enter my identity number, but when I went to pick up the ticket what was printed was the name  Liu Wenhui, which is not me, and a different identity number! Miss Liu cannot understand how such a bizarre thing could happen. “Before the name imprinted ticket system, I just came here directly and bought a ticket. This time, why did I have to reserve my ticket by phone, only to get one not in my name?”

This reporter examined her ticket. It was a second class ticket from Guangzhou to Changsha, price 333 yuan. ” When I went to pick up the ticket I ordered from the agent I was told they were unable to change the information printed on the ticket, so I had to come here to the South Station.” When told the ticket could not be changed, Miss Liu had no choice but to accept a refund with the service charge deducted, leaving her with only 20% of the value of the ticket, or 67 yuan. She had to start all over and buy a new ticket.

In regards to this bizarre event, the railway said, it is probable the problem was caused by the identity number Miss Liu entered during her phone call. It is very unlikely that it was caused by a technical problem with the phone system. This is because when ordering a ticket by phone, one only has to enter one’s identity number, not one’s name. Now Miss Liu appears holding a ticket with someone else’s name and identity number, and asks to exchange it for another ticket for free. This does not accord with regulations. We cannot discard the possibility that Miss Liu purchased this ticket from a scalper.

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