Beijing will start to raise its fares on public transport on Dec. 28, doubling the current prices on average, but including some discount schemes.
According to the pricing adjustment plan, the minimum price for a subway ride will be 3 yuan, which covers a ride of 6 km, compared with the current flat-fare of 2 yuan with unlimited transfers. The scheme excludes the capital airport link, now charged at 25 yuan.
The subway fare will cost 4 yuan if the ride is between 6 and 12 km, 5 yuan for 12 to 22 km and 6 yuan for 22 to 32 km. If the subway ride is longer than 32 km, one yuan is charged for every extra 20 km.
For bus passengers, a ride of 10 km will be 2 yuan and 1 yuan for every further 5 km. Smart card users will enjoy a 50 percent discount and student card users 75 percent discount.
Bus transport in Beijing is currently 1 yuan or most lines with a smart cards price of only 0.4 yuan. Some longer bus lines charge passengers according to the length of ride.
For subway commuters using a smart card, the first 100 yuan each month will be charged at the full price; the next 50 yuan is discounted by 20 percent and from 150 yuan - 400 yuan by 50 percent. Spending beyond 400 yuan per month will not be eligible for discounts as this has been deemed excessive for normal commuting purposes.
After the adjustments, the average price of subway transport will be around 4.3 yuan and that of buses 1.3 yuan, covering about 50 percent and 38 percent of their real costs respectively, said an official of the Beijing municipal development and reform commission on Thursday.
To divert subway passenger flows in rush hours, a preferential policy for outside rush hours will be piloted next year, said the official.
The hikes were finalized after a public hearing on the program last month in Beijing.
The number of passengers taking the subway hit 3.2 billion last year in Beijing, an increase of 350 percent from 2007. Subsidies jumped from 13.5 billion yuan in 2010 to 20 billion yuan in 2013.