Criticism is beginning to mount over Shenzhen’s business-class metro service, which began with the launch of Metro Line 11 on June 28. The service is the first of its kind on a metro system in mainland China.
According to a report by sznews.com, some commuters have begun questioning the 'fairness' and 'necessity' of the more expensive service being provided on line 11, which connects Shenzhen’s CBD with the airport.
Some have argued that by charging three times the standard fare to use the business-class seating, the metro company has created a social and economic barrier.
“Most people taking this line are commuters, we are not willing to pay more than necessary to get to work or back home,” one commuter told Shenzhen’s TVS2. “We only need a quick trip, not a comfortable seat.”
“It doesn’t make much sense to me to have a business-class section on a metro train. I understand people would need a better service on an airplane or railway trip, but for such a short trip, is it really necessary?” another passenger added.
Shenzhen’s metro company went on local television to defend the addition of business-class carriages, stating that standard metro trains have six carriages, while Line 11 trains have eight – two of which are the business-class carts. Their argument: the business-class service does not compromise the capacity of Line 11 trains.
The company also claims that the business-class service meets market demand and has been embraced by commuters.
“This business-class service is very convenient for a flight-catcher with heavy luggage. I would take a taxi to the airport with my luggage, if this metro line hadn’t been introduced,” a business-class rider told TVS2. “Some people complain the business-class service is too expensive, but I think it is rather affordable [RMB21] compared to other routes.”
Shenzhen Metro is planning to run more trains on Line 11 during peak hours, but the details of the plan have not been officially released, according to Shenzhen Metro customer service staff.
READ MORE: Dongguan Opens First Metro Line
[Images via sznews.com]