China / Society

Shenzhen Metro says no VIP compartment planned

By Huang Yuli ( Updated: 2012-07-06 21:36

The Shenzhen Metro said on July 6 that it has no plans to set up VIP compartments on a new subway line.

A report by the Southern Metropolis Daily on Friday said that the Shenzhen Metro was planning to set up VIP compartments on line 11, which is now under construction.

The report said the trains operating on the line would have two more compartments with no standing space but with tickets costing twice as much.

The news caught public attention, with many questioning if it would be appropriate to set different price brackets for public transportation, especially in the subway, which is normally very crowded during peak times.

An online survey on news portal Sina , with the participation of more than 2,000 netizens by 5 pm on July 6, showed that 65.3 percent believed it's not appropriate to set VIP compartments, while 23.8 percent of the respondents supported more variety of choices.

Chen Qi, deputy manager of the operating company of the Shenzhen Metro, said that that the company is not planning to set up VIP compartments but what they call "special compartments".

"Line 11 is from downtown to the airport, like an airport express, so it won't be very crowded," he said.

"Trains for that line will have eight compartments, instead of six, so we plan to make two compartments special, on which we won't sell standing tickets. This is to meet the demands of high-end customers," he said.

He added that Hong Kong has similar arrangements on a train line run by the MTR Corp, which has a first class compartment.

He said the "special compartments" will only be put in place on line 11 "since it's a special line" and would not be expanded to other lines.

Chen said the construction of line 11 has just started and will be finished in 2016. Ticket prices are not finalized yet.

According to Shenzhen Metro, the current five subway lines in Shenzhen carry daily 2.07 million passengers on average.

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