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Support for public transport
Latest Updated by 2006-04-06 10:43:57
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The government should offer more funds to operate public transport, a public service sector, says a signed article in the China Business Times. An excerpt follows:

It is reported that a lot of buses in Guangzhou, the capital of South China's Guangdong Province, have raised their ticket prices several times in recent years to reduce deficits.

Because of the price hikes, spending on public transport has accounted for 30 per cent of the monthly income of some of its lower-income residents.

To tackle this, some municipal People's Congress deputies have proposed the prices of the bus tickets be lowered by 50 per cent and that the government provide a subsidy to the public transport sector.

It would be greatly encouraging if public transport could indeed be developed into a public service sector.

In a lot of cities in China, public transport has been taken as an independent enterprise and investment and financial subsidies to the sector regarded by some local authorities as a burden.

As a result, public transport has begun tapping into the market and the ticket prices have been raised again and again.

Public transport, as part of the infrastructure in cities, should be public service-oriented. To reduce losses, what the government and bus corporations should do is introduce more scientific operation and management systems to cut down management costs.

According to some experts, the losses suffered by many bus corporations are mainly due to their inefficiency in management.

Also, the government should lend its fiscal support to the public transport sector given that it is its responsibility to finance a public welfare undertaking.

In particular, local governments should care about the lower-income group and no longer regard the public transport sector as a means to make money. It is earnestly hoped that the proposal raised by Guangzhou's People's Congress deputies be realized for the benefit of common people.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China Daily Website
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