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Shuttle bus makes time fly for Beijing commuters

中国日报网 2013-10-18 13:40

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A subscription bus service is gaining popularity with commuters in Beijing, especially private car owners, the service provider says.

The service gives commuters the chance to avoid crowded subway carriages and buses on work days, with higher fares than the regular bus service and a set timetable and destinations.

It has attracted 1,600 commuters on its 27 routes since the first route was launched on Sept 9, Beijing Public Transport Holdings said.

Commuters can subscribe to the service three days in advance. The fare for a distance of 20 km, for example, is 15 yuan ($2.50), while the same trip by taxi costs about 100 yuan.

Based on research into predicted demand, 62 routes to 31 destinations, with 168 stops, will be launched in the future, the company said.

A survey of subscribers shows that 60 percent of customers for the shuttle bus service are private car drivers.

Passenger-use on a route from the Huilongguan area in northern Beijing to Zhongguancun, an information technology hub in the northwest of the capital, has reached 75 percent.

Equipped with air conditioning and free Wi-Fi, the service ensures a seat for every commuter and can use exclusive bus lanes, reducing traveling time significantly for rush-hour commuters.

A man named Guo, who works in the central business district, said that before he took the subscription bus service, he used to drive his car from the Wangjing area and had to pay about 50 yuan to park every day.

He said he was often caught in rush hour traffic jams.

Last week, a China Daily reporter took the same bus route that Guo uses.

Although the bus was caught in a traffic jam at the start of its route and again near the destination, the trip from 7:35 am to 8:30 am went smoothly because the route included the Fourth Ring Road and a special bus lane on the Beijing-Tongzhou Expressway.

The operator says use of the new service has increased on routes in eastern areas of the capital, where most routes use the special bus lanes. But the situation in northern areas, where there is a lack of such lanes, is not so good.

The company said in a statement that only 60 percent of services on routes where there are no bus lanes reach their destination on time.

(中国日报网英语点津 丹妮 编辑)

About the broadcaster:

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.

 

 

 

 

 

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