ASIAdocument.write(“” + m[today.getMonth()+1]+ ” “+ today.getDate()+”, ” + theYear + ” “);HOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperChina Daily Global PDFChina Daily Global E-paperOpinion / EditorialsEditorialsOp-EdColumnistsContributorsCartoonsSpecialsFrom the PressForum TrendsTalk from streetDebateEditors Pick:Syrian refugeescyberspaceV-Day paradeshrimp scandalTPPMarket to set rail ticket prices(China Daily) Updated:2016-02-23 07:17Comments Print Mail Large Medium SmallTrain attendants prepare to board at Nanjing Station, East Chinas Jiangsu province, Nov 10, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]High-speed railways are the pride of the nation. The countrys network of 19,000 kilometers of high-speed train lines is the longest in the world and connects almost all the major Chinese cities. Traveling by high-speed train has become part of more and more peoples lives. Of every 10 people who traveled by train last year, four were on a fast track.That is why it has drawn so much public attention that the operator of the “bullet trains” has been given free rein to set ticket prices.
According to a recent announcement by the National Development and Reform Commission, Chinas top economic planning agency, China Railway Corp is being empowered to decide how much high-speed train tickets cost in light of “market competition and passenger distribution”. Previously, the price was set by the commission itself.
This move should be welcomed. As an enterprise in a market economy, CRC should be freed from the shackles of administrative intervention. Only by doing so can it make the best use of resources, raise efficiency, improve profits and better serve passengers.
Due to the huge amounts of money needed for the development of high-speed railways, the government has constantly invited private capital to contribute, but to little avail.
The increasing debts of CRC, estimated at nearly 4 trillion yuan ($615 billion) in 2014, have hampered its ambitious construction blueprint. The pricing reform will hopefully help the railways make a profit which will help spark the enthusiasm of private capital to invest in them.
The reform is long overdue as the nations railways are one of the last State sectors still reminiscent of a rigid planned economy. The aviation sector has long priced tickets based on seasonal changes in demand and supply, and has prospered, benefiting both airlines and passengers. So have highways and river transport.
Yet many people worry the reform may lead to unreasonably high prices for high-speed train tickets, because CRC enjoys a monopoly as the countrys only operator of high-speed trains. Such concerns must be addressed.
Thus the CRC should take into account the interests of the general public as well. Public hearings are necessary and discounts for not so busy lines or in off-peak seasons must be guaranteed. The government must play a supervisory role to make sure the reform is not a one-way street for excessive price increases.8.03KRelated StoriesRail ticket seller misses out on special dinner againPolice crack down on holiday rail ticket scalpingBusiness: Producing high-speed rail tracksProducing high-speed rail tracks Most Viewed Todays Top News养老金鸿沟 (yănglăojīn hónggōu): Pension gapBrussels shows China good as well as bad faceCompetition between China and US primarily economicNations new demographic goldmineLong-term policy reflects responsible leadershipForum TrendsTop 10 domestic news cartoonsTop 10 world news cartoonsOur forumites make their own 2016 calendarHow an American views China and USIs public breastfeeding appropriate?12 stories that touched the heart in 2015Squat or sit?ColumnistsLove isnt blindAmerican Dream increasingly distant from most in USFeatured ContributorsChina’s doomsday a wishful thinking of opportunistsChina doom-sayings are based on separating facts and rhetoricStar BloggersWhy I continue to teach in China By MichaelMIve been in China for almost four and a half years now, teaching more than 4,000 classes and nearly as many students. It’s given me experiences Ill never forget.My study abroad in the UK By MaierweiAfter a lengthy visa application procedure, I was ready for my first lengthy stay in Europe. I left my dog with my father, jumped on a flight, and there I was, in London, UK.Single? Live differently By subeBeing single is a lifestyle. We cannot say it is an alternative. It is a well-established civil status and there are many people permanently or temporarily living single.SpecialChina Dream in expats eyes2015 China impressionPresident Xis UK visit in foreigners eye…| About China Daily | Advertise on Site | Contact Us | Job Offer | Expat Employment |Copyright 1995 -var oTime = new Date();
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