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Wednesday, January 16, 2019, 11:34
Beijing subways to launch one-day pass
By Wang Keju
Wednesday, January 16, 2019, 11:34 By Wang Keju

A passenger scans a QR code to enter Beijing subway Line 5 in April, 2018. (ZHAO NAIMING / FOR CHINA DAILY)

The planned one-day pass for the Beijing subway system will boost tourism and be more attractive for international travelers, an expert said.

Beijing subway will soon offer passengers more ticket options, with the one-day pass the first to be launched, the municipal commission of transportation said on Sunday.

The commission would analyze the commuter data during the holiday and figure out the needs of short-term visitors to Beijing before setting the ticket price

Rong Jun, spokesman of Beijing municipal commission of transportation

The capital now uses a metered fare system for subways. Passengers can buy single-ride tickets or use a rechargeable card.

The one-day pass, valid for 24 hours of unlimited metro travel, will be convenient for visitors to Beijing and help boost tourism, the commission said.

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He Mang, assistant dean of the School of Tourism Management at Sun Yat-sen University, said cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou and Wuhan already have one-day or three-day passes, which allow tourists to save time and money. Beijing, as a global metropolis, needs to catch up to be more attractive and more influential.

"Inbound tourism is an important aspect of promoting high-quality development of tourism in Beijing. But the number of trips made by foreign tourists and tourism revenue in Beijing has continuously declined from 2012 to 2017. The one-day pass shows Beijing's effort to stay abreast of international tourism industry trends and a better understanding of the preferences of overseas tourists," he said.

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Rong Jun, spokesman for the commission, said the commission would analyze the commuter data during the holiday and figure out the needs of short-term visitors to Beijing before setting the ticket price.

"There should be a balance in the price of the one-day pass. It should be cheaper than buying single tickets. But if it's too cheap, it will divert the daily commuters and put more pressure on the subway," Rong said.

The pass will be available in paper or QR code format, according to the commission.

The city also plans to accelerate construction of three subway lines this year and will open three including the line connecting the new Beijing Daxing International Airport with the downtown district, the transportation commission said. Metro lines in Beijing are expected to have nearly 700 kilometers of rail in operation by the end of 2019.

Authorities also said they will improve the ease with which passengers in the city's train stations can transfer to buses, the subway system or taxis.

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