Public Hearing Helps Cut Proposed Transport Price Hike in Half

Government departments in central China's Henan province decided on Sunday to raise the price of public road transport during Chinese New Year period by 10 percent.

The announcement was made two days after a provincial public hearing on the ticket price of public transport on highways and the figure represents a 57.2 percent cut in the hike requested by the provincial transport association.

The association had earlier applied for 23.4 percent increase in the ticket prices during the transport peak time on highways (from January 28 to March 8).

The announcement, issued by the provincial planning commission and the communications administration, stipulated that students could buy tickets at the original price.

The announcement also required transport ventures to ensure passenger safety and to improve their service.

Over the past 10 years, the price of Henan bus and coach tickets used to float by around 20 percent during the Chinese New Year period.

Henan's public hearing on ticket prices was held on January 25 and was attended by 23 representatives from various sections of society in the province.

During the hearing, 11 representatives, or 48 percent of the participants, disagreed with the price hikes, and another 7 people did not agree with the floating margins.

Local media approved of the decision made by the planning commission and the communications administration, saying it is a leap forward towards democratic policy making in local government.

On January 12, the central government sponsored its first ever public hearing on setting railway ticket prices during the Chinese New Year period.

( Xinhua News Agency January 27, 2002)

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