10-07-2007 15:18

Beijing subway commuters have reason to cheer. After a 12 billion yuan investment, five years of construction several delays, the capital's No.5 subway line finally begins operation today. Not only that, commuters are getting to pay less than before.

The Beijing's No.5 Subway line will begin operating on Sunday at two p.m. local time.

The line runs close to 28 kilometers and has 23 stations. It runs from the northern Changping district, to the Southern Fengtai district. The line also meets with the city's east-west subway Line 1, the city's major subway route, and crosses the loop Line 2. Passengers on Line 5 can also transfer to Line 13, which is north Beijing's metro link.

Line 5 will boast many added features not found in the current subway lines. It's equipped with a wireless communication network. Live broadcasts will be provided on TVs installed in all the trains. In addition, passengers are guaranteed continued cellphone coverage throughout their journey. The line also features a total of 35 designated elevators and 28 wheelchair lifts to accommodate disable travelers.

Meanwhile,other subway commuters are also looking forward to tomorrow. That's because ticket prices will be cut by about 30 percent beginning Sunday.

One-way ticket will now cost just two yuan, versus the previous three yuan. The move aims to boost public transportation. Commuters are welcoming the decision.

"The new single price system will help me save at least half of my subway spending."said a passenger.

The two yuan will also be the flat rate for an entire journey, no matter how long the journey or how many transfers a passenger makes. People can pay in cash or by card. But some believe more can be done.

A passenger said, "Two yuan is really cheap now. But I still hope the city will also consider introducing some favorable policies to students and elderlies as well."

Many passengers worry that the new fare system will increase passenger volume. But the Beijing subway department is assuring the public that the city will be adding more trains to handle the likely surge in subway commuters.


Editor:Zhang Ning