Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Free bus service in Chengdu triggers heated discussion in Xiamen

Updated: 16 Oct 2012
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A sign saying "free of charge" is seen on a bus in Chengdu on Oct. 10, 2012. A total of 44 lines of buses in Chengdu will be free of charge from Oct. 10, 2012 to June 30, 2013.

A free bus fare policy has been implemented in Chengdu, capital city of Southwestern China’s Sichuan Province, on the 10th October, which has triggered a heated discussion in Xiamen. Many citizens have discussed whether Xiamen should have such a policy, reported Strait Herald.
Some citizens tweeted on Sina Weibo, the popular microblogging platform in China, advising the authorities to adopt a similar policy to further encourage the use of public transport in Xiamen, while most citizens said they are against the plan, citing the ‘chaotic’ public transport system in Chengdu after the policy was implemented there. They also pointed out that the policy was introduced concurrently with a strict restriction on private cars to alleviate traffic jams.
Xinhua news agency reported that the policy drew larger-than-ever crowds to bus and metro stations, and many Chengdu citizens complained they could not catch a bus.
“Bus fares are already very cheap in Xiamen, and a free bus fare policy won’t increase its competitiveness against private cars,” said a private car owner in Xiamen. “Many private car owners will still choose to drive their cars because it’s more convenient and they can get direct access to their destination.”
Zhu Jianghuai, a member of the Standing Committee of the Municipal People's Congress, believed that a free bus transfer policy will be more beneficial than a free bus fare policy.
“We can improve our public transport system by adding bus shuttles, opening more bus routes, and setting up more bus stops especially in the mainland districts,” Zhu said.
Relevant departments have said they will keep an eye on the results of the free bus fare policy in Chengdu and continue to improve the public transport services in Xiamen.
Xiamen News. 16 Oct 2012 
SOURCE: WOXnews.com

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