Bikes banned on railways, unless boxed

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, January 6, 2015
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People can no longer carry bicycles, including folding ones, on Chinese trains. At least not in one piece.

The new ban, drawn up by the China Railway Corp, took effect Monday. Its aim is to create more room for people within train carriages, officials said.

Passengers can still take their bicycles on trains, but they must first dismantle them and pack the parts into suitable containers.

Under existing regulations, rail passengers are allowed to carry up to 20 kilograms of luggage per person, as long as their combined dimensions do not exceed 1.6 meters cubed (or 1.3m cubed on bullet trains.)

Exceptions include telemeter rods and surveyor's poles, which can be taken on trains as long as they don't exceed 2m in length.

An official with the Shanghai Railway Bureau said that while the ban on bicycles "might cause inconvenience to some cyclists ... protecting the interests of other passengers and maintaining a good carriage environment" was the priority.

The person said the authority hopes the new rule will help improve relations between passengers during next month's Spring Festival holiday, which is a peak time for rail travel.

Bicycles can be carried as cargo on trains, but this incurs an additional charge.

According to the China Railway Express, the cost of shipping a standard bicycle from Shanghai to Beijing is about 50 yuan (US$8). Prices vary depending on the destination.

Local cyclist Xiao Feng said she might have to use the bus in future.

"If it's a short trip to neighboring Zhejiang or Jiangsu Province, I'll probably take a long distance bus instead of the train, as I can put my bike in the trunk for an extra 10 or 20 yuan," she said.

"I once used a courier to take one of my bikes to Qinghai Province, but when it arrived it had a lot of scratches," she said.

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