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Xinguanren project 8. As for buses…

May 7, 2012

According to  “The Voice of China”,  80% of passengers during the spring rush travel by highway. Many have been calling in to “Voice of China” to say that since the spring rush started (January 18) bus ticket prices have risen, to one or two times more than normal. A Central Broadcasting Station reporter investigates.

Yesterday (1-28) in Guangdong Foshan city temporary laborer Tian Menglan finally climbed into a bus to return home. She had already waited quite a few days, “Each day the ticket price rose, one day after the next, and one could only buy a same day ticket, because there were no tickets for sale for days in advance, even if it was only the next day. An ordinary ticket cost 50 yuan more inside the station as compared to outside. But what can you do? You either go home or you don’t, you get a seat or someone else takes it.” Tian Menglan is from Baise city in  western Guangxi. Usually when she goes home, the ticket price is less than 100 yuan, but for the New Year, it is jumped to almost 300.

The Shenzhen Xixiang long distance bus station is a place many temporary workers use to travel. This reporter telephoned there, and found that for many popular destinations ticket prices have surged for many popular destinations.

Reporter: in normal times, from Xixiang (Shenzhen) to Chengdu, how much does it cost?

Station personnel: in normal times, one way is 445 for the cheapest ticket.

R: How about for train number 31, tomorrow?

Station: It is 705. It will become cheaper again after New Years.

It is clear that long distance bus tickets in many localities have risen. Doesn’t the nation have any stipulations about price hikes during the New Year holiday? A person of responsibility at the Transportation Bureau explained what their authority is: “bus prices must be within the set range set by the government. During spring rush prices are allowed to increase, but they cannot go above the upper limit.  We further stipulate that the upper limit ticket price and the actual price of any particular ticket be clearly marked on the ticket.”

Our highways are at present the type of transportation that fluctuates the most according to the market. In ordinary times prices are discounted, but rise during the New Year period. Since bus transportation is a marketized commodity, there is ample reason to take advantage of the spring rush and raise prices. However, according to Gu Yuanhua, professor in the School of Traffic and Transportation at Beijing Jiaotong University, prices during the spring rush are such an unusual event, it is not sufficient to depend on the market for self-regulation. “The appropriate government department, either Transportation or the Commodity Prices Bureau, must closely supervise.”

Political observer Wu Yongqiang at the Voice of China said, “Since during the spring rush demand increases, the government cannot supervise the ticket situation as in normal times. They must show increased flexibility and maneuverability to deal with sudden shifts.

Reporter Wang Xian, Zhang Guoliang, Liu Tao


Bus tickets are up 30% during the spring rush

Our reporter yesterday visited the Dongguan main bus station to investigate. Compared to last year, this year there is an extra surcharge for fuel, The standard is one percent pre kilometer. This year it has gone up, because of the rise of fuel prices starting at the end of last year.

As one can see from what is posted on the station board, ticket prices are up 30%. Especially looking at the prices to Hunan and Guangxi, the rate of increase is plain to see.  Usually to Hunan is 150 yuan, but now it is 190 yuan.

This reporter interviewed one passenger at random, a Mr Lin. He said, there was nothing unusual about the rise of ticket prices, this always happened during the spring rush, because of increased demand and fuel costs. “As long as prices are regulated within the stipulated limit set by the Commodity Prices Bureau, no one will complain, they only fear arbitrary increases.” (reporter Wang Songping).

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