Beijing’s Subway Needs Fare Hikes

An interesting item from China, Beijing’s metro system, despite being one of the world’s busiest, is having funding problems and fares are escalating.

Beijing metro price hike ‘squeezing poor’

7 January 2015

Despite it being one of the biggest and busiest in the world, the Beijing metro is making huge losses and the government is raising fares.

As Martin Patience reports, the move is fuelling concerns about the cost of living in the capital.

Is this the shape of things to come with a Broadway subway?

You won’t see the regional mayors commenting on this story, nor will you see the Vancouver Sun publish such a story, but if subways are proving costly to operate in Beijing, will a Broadway subway prove too costly to operate in Vancouver?

Don’t shoot the messenger, I am only asking.


4 Responses to “Beijing’s Subway Needs Fare Hikes”
  1. Haveacow says:

    Guys everything in China is going up in price, there in the middle of their own small but growing economic crisis. When you purposely under value your currency to encourage businesses to locate and build factories for mostly export goods. You create an economic imbalance of massive proportions. Almost 70% of their economy and source of money is from exporting cheap goods built with low valued Chinese currency but collects high valued international currency. That means only around 30% of their economy is from Chinese consumer consumption, this is because again, the low value of their currency. This system works as long as your exports are high but, that’s not what is happening. Their exports have dropped because the recession and very slow recovery in North America and continued problems in Europe have limited the amount of foreign money coming in from exports. Now with massive inventories of goods sitting in Chinese factories, and the costs in exporting going up mostly due to transport costs, people are being laid off. Even if our economy picks up they have got a decade of goods and massive piles of our commodities sitting doing nothing. They have very much overbuilt their production capacity.

    Too many workers, too much supply not enough sales and even if those sales go up they got enough raw supplies and goods in their inventory for a decade or more of production. So people are being laid off and the government is increasing the price of most goods to compensate for the lack of export sales. They can only marginally increase the value of their currency because letting it actually float on the world market will end their economic miracle, so all the pain of those cost increases have to be born by the Chinese worker. They also have a growing crisis in their cities in that, they have overbuilt them as well. Many of those impressive skyscrapers and apartment blocks along with there impressive infrastructure which displays all over their cities skylines are mostly empty. In fact many of those buildings in many Chinese cities are completely empty.

    All those subways were built with the guarantee that there would be a endless supply of workers going to all these factories and jobs, oops! Fewer jobs, guess what happens, fewer riders or riders who may try other means of getting to work. All those rail lines were built on the assumption that people could afford the really cheap tickets. But the government and the Party just raised the cost of everything including the price of those tickets all at a time when there are fewer workers riding the rails to work. Keep in mind their far from collapsing economically but, its a major hole in the Chinese economic suit of armor that, until now has been so impressive and quite nearly impervious to anything happening outside of China.

  2. You’re missing a detail here. The Beijing subway system is also pre-priced to the cheapest metro system (not ONE of the cheapest, THE CHEAPEST) to ride in the world. There is certainly room for forgiveness if they are having any sort of trouble making ends meet. Nothing less from the Light Rail embarkada, who have no interest in keeping info accurate in the quest to turn the tides away from any sort of heavy rail.

  3. Rowley Banks says:

    Daryl, please publish the basis for your assertion, so that I can review your references and sources

  4. Haveacow says:

    Actually, I was talking to friend of mine who worked on many of those Subway Lines in places like Beijing. A big factor that allowed many Chinese cities grow their Metro/Subway lines quickly was that many Chinese cities, Beijing included, had miles of underground tunnels and complexes built and constructed for the possible nuclear and or conventional attack and Invasion by both the US (1952-72) and USSR (1961-1991). As the US threat of direct invasion into China began falling after the end of the Korean War, the threat of Atomic attack by the US grew till the early 70′s, when direct contact and talks between the US and Chinese leadership began.

    The USSR initially a Communist ally had warm relations with China until they grew very cold when, China developed its own Nuclear Weapon Program. The official split became law in early 1962 after several border incidents between troops on both sides. From that point until the end of the USSR in 1991, the Soviets stationed no less than 1 million troops on their common border and the Chinese somewhere between 2-3 million. The most serious incidents are believed to have occurred in late 1969 and 1978. Tensions were also quite high in 1979 when China invaded Vietnam in 1979 with catastrophic results, that were thankfully short lived, although China still holds a small amount of Vietnamise territory. Both countries had attempted to court North Vietnam’s favor during their war with massive amounts of material aid but, the USSR eventually won the day.

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