According to brief statement in today’s Beijing News, a decision has been reached on Beijing’s new distance-based subway prices: Tickets will start at RMB 2 or 3, with the average overall fare to run between RMB 4.3 and RMB 4.4 – a price hike that more than doubles the fare yet keeps it lower than similar cities in China like Shanghai and Guangzhou.
It also appears they are concurrently launching a discount plan for frequent commuters that spend more than RMB 100 a month on public transport: fares above RMB 100 will be discounted at 20 percent, while fares in excess of RMB 150 will be discounted at 50%. Discounts will stop after total monthly expenditure reaches RMB 400.
Presuming the average subway commuter is traveling both to and from work 20 days a month, this should mean monthly commuting costs would average around RMB 150, or about USD 24 – almost five times lower than a monthly pass on the New York City subway system.
This morning’s Beijing News added that there will be a live discussion at 2:30pm today (Tuesday Oct 28) to settle the final as-to-yet undetermined portion of the pricing: whether the initial price will be RMB 2 (for the first 3km) or RMB 3 (for the first 6km).
No word yet on what the maximum fare will be, nor the distances at which the rates will go up, nor a timeline for implementation (which is not unusual as they like to announce these things slowly in bits and pieces, Chinese Water Torture style).
Previous announcements indicate the fare hike is likely to be implemented before the end of 2014. We’ll keep you posted as the details continue to be leaked out, a bit at a time.
This post first appeared on thebeijinger.com on October 27, 2014
Table: Global Times
Photo: The Beijinger