China today

Passengers help tweak holiday rail services

2017-10-11 07:40:00 (Beijing Time)


Rail passengers in Xi'an used crowdfunding to help determine the scheduling of two trains during the National Day travel rush.

The Xi'an railway bureau posted crowdfunding information on WeChat, soliciting passengers' opinions about adding two train services between Xi'an and Yulin on the last two days of the holiday, Oct 7 and 8.

With 122 netizens participating in the nine-day activity, 14,691 yuan ($2,230) was raised online to add train services-about 9 percent of the target amount. Passengers could choose 81 yuan for a hard seat, 144 yuan for a hard sleeper and 222 yuan for a soft sleeper.

Although the target was not reached, train services were added nevertheless because of soaring requests at stations, said Zhang Yujing at Xi'an station.

"Many passengers did not know how to participate online, but they heard the news and came to the window for help," Zhang said, adding that the station opened a window to answer questions about the crowdfunding service and for picking up tickets.

The trains were both full, carrying more than 1,200 passengers each way.

The crowdfunding trial was a collaboration between Xi'an Railway Bureau and Tsinghua University, in an attempt to devise more flexible services. For example, it increased the ratio of sleeper seats and changed departure times based on passenger requests, according to the Xi'an Railway Bureau.

Liu Hongyan had visited Xi'an during the National Day holiday and bought a sleeper seat at the window to return to Yulin.

"Thanks to the service added through crowdfunding, I was able to buy a ticket home," she said.

This year's October Golden Week holiday was prolonged to eight days as the National Day holiday coincided with Mid-Autumn Festival. The longer holiday enabled more people to travel.

According to China Railway Corp, 132 million trips were made by rail during the weeklong travel rush. Chinese railways set a record in daily passenger traffic as more than 15 million trips were made on National Day, Oct 1.