The Ministry of Railways is considering cutting ticket
prices for the new bullet train services, which begin on April 18,
after disappointing initial sales.
The bullet trains promise to reduce journey times by an average
of two hours between major cities with speeds of 200 to 250
kilometers per hour.
But fares were 50 percent higher than the current express trains
because of "greater costs, faster speeds and better service", said
Wang Yongping, spokesman with the Ministry of Railways.
Tickets for the first bullet train services went on sale on
April 14, but in some cities sales have been sluggish partly
because of the high prices, it is believed.
"We have noticed the public opinion about the ticket prices and
will consider slashing prices on the basis of market conditions in
the future," said Wang.
Ticket shortages will be alleviated during the May Day holiday
as an additional 340,000 seats will be provided every day to make
traveling more convenient, said Wang.
The latest round of the "speed boost" will increase the national
railway passenger capacity by 18 percent and cargo capacity by 12
"But it will not be possible for China to completely eliminate
the shortages until 2020 when the country's railway network
lengthens to 100,000 kilometers," said Wang.
(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2007)