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bridgeway 2017

Beijing, Tianjin plan monthly rail pass

A driver checks a high-speed train before it heads from Tianjin to Beijing South Railway Station. Photo: Xinhua

Beijing, China February 9 2017 – Beijing and Tianjin are planning a monthly rail pass for high-speed intercity trains linking the cities.

The move will facilitate the integrated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province, an outline given in 2015 to improve transportation links in the area, while also moving some of Beijing’s low-end industries to neighboring areas.

The Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway was the first of its kind in China. Traveling at up to 350 kilometers per hour, passengers can commute between the cities in about 40 minutes on trains that depart every 10 to 15 minutes.

 

“We are looking forward to having monthly train passes,” said Xiang Nan, the managing director of a Tianjin-based investment company that has offices in Beijing, downtown Tianjin and Binhai New Area of Tianjin. He has rented offices near the train stations to save time on commuting.

Xiang said that he and seven of his employees spend nearly 5,000 yuan ($730) every month on commuting. “We hope the monthly pass can help frequent passengers save money.”

In 2009, a prepaid express card was issued by railway authorities for Beijing-Tianjin intercity trains, offering exclusive entrance channels at stations so frequent travelers don’t have to buy tickets in advance or wait in line before boarding.

In 2012, the express card was upgraded into a debit card that also works on about 20 intercity rail transit lines nationwide.