Overcrowding severe on longer Line 10

By Zhang Zihan Source:Global Times Published: 2013-1-14 23:38:02

Line 10 is fast overtaking Line 1 as the capital's busiest subway line, mere weeks after the latest phase opened, causing the operators to take urgent action to relieve the overcrowding. 

Statistics from Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport show 1.44 million travelers used the line last Friday, figures which exceeded all other subway lines in Beijing. The same thing happened on January 4 and 5, with Line 10's passengers flow reaching 1.32 million and 1.28 million.

Phase two of Line 10, which extended the circular line in the south and west, opened on December 30. The remaining short section to connect the  ends is due to open in May.

Beijing Subway Company (BSC) said Sunday in a press release that the passenger flow has increased 43 percent since January, and Jinsong Subway Station has become an important station, which has brought extra pressure to the Jinsong, Shuangjing and Guomao section of the line.

"Obvious passenger delays have been observed in these stations," BSC said.

Jinsong station is now one of Beijing's busiest, with nearly 20,000 passengers entering the station per hour in morning peaks, BSC figures show.

Hong Jianping, a 31-year-old employee from an export company in Guomao, who lives by Line 10's Songjiazhuang station in Fengtai district, told the Global Times that he felt the experience of riding on Line 10 was akin to great suffering.

"Getting on the train in the morning is already a difficult thing, but that's just the beginning of a tough journey. People keep trying to enter the carriages in the following stations, making them into sardine cans," said Hong.

Meng Bin, professor of urban planning at Beijing Union University, told the Global Times the city needs to urgently develop its public transportation system. 

"Many people use Line 10 to connect to other transport methods. After its second phase opened, it has more transit stations, and this has led to extra pressure," said Meng.

To help alleviate the situation, BSC announced that from Monday, some trains on Line 10 will not stop between Songjiazhuang and Jinsong stations in morning rush hours.

An anonymous employee from BSC's hotline said the company has timetabled seven express trains from 8-9 am.

"They won't stop at Chengshousi, Fenzhongsi, Shilihe and Panjiayuan stations to relieve the pressure in Jinsong and Shuangjing," she said. Every fourth train will be an express.

Meng said that express trains are a stopgap solution. 

"Public transport resources in Beijing are not enough. The vast population demands more subway lines and more transfer stations, and this will be the only solution to Line 10's passenger pressure," said Meng.

Posted in: Society, Metro Beijing

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