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Fare discounts offered on high-speed trains

9 May 2012
Business class and premium seat passengers on the high-speed Shanghai-Nanjing and Shanghai-Hangzhou railway lines will soon enjoy discounts of 10-30 per cent, reported China Daily.

Shanghai Railway Bureau announced that business class ticket from Shanghai to Nanjing, currently priced at about Rmb438, will now be available for Rmb307. Premium seat tickets on the same route will be cut from Rmb263 to Rmb237. Some of the discounts are only available to passengers who buy tickets seven to 12 days in advance of the departure date.

Business class and premium seats account for just 2 per cent of a high-speed train’s capacity. However, the move is regarded as significant because it is believed to be the first time that China’s high-speed railways have given discounts to passengers, following repeated calls from the public for lower fares.

Yang Hao, a professor at Beijing Jiaotong University, said the discounts were now being offered because the Ministry of Railways has loosened its grip on day-to-day railway transport organisation and management issues. Instead, it now focuses on policymaking and supervision, and local railway bureaus have taken over the job of setting prices and being responsible for safety, he said.

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