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Old September 15th, 2015, 01:41 PM   #10001
hkskyline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Does taking a bus from Hong Kong to Lo Wu also cost less than taking MTR for the same distance?

For example, prices out of Wuhan:
Wuhan-Xianning North, 85 km, by G train - 24 minutes, nonstop, second class 39 yuan 5 jiao
Wuhan-Xianning North, by D train - 26 minutes, nonstop, second class 24 yuan 5 jiao
Wuchang-Xianning, by T369 - 44 minutes, nonstop, hard seat 13 yuan

How does bus trip price compare?
By the way, Wuhan didn't even make the top 10 cities with the highest rents in China.

The most expensive city for home rental was Beijing at 65 RMB per sq m per month. So for a modest 50 sq m (500 sq ft) unit, rent is 3250 RMB a month. Coming in 10th is Wenzhou at 33 RMB per sq m per month. A modest 50 sq m unit would cost 1650 RMB a month. That puts into perspective how ridiculous moving far but paying 520 RMB for a hard seat commute is, let alone advocating for urban/commuter rail to extend so far out.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchin...t_18781005.htm
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Old September 15th, 2015, 02:05 PM   #10002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
You will need to understand whether people actually will make that trip in the first place.

13 RMB a trip on a hard seat equates to 520 RMB a month, which is a substantial amount of money considering an average urban salary of 4000 RMB. Keep in mind a subway ride in a large city would not typically cost more than half of that. Why would people move so far away?

From the data I presented, the Beijing commute is the longest at 19km, so I really wonder whether a 85km commute makes sense in the Chinese context.
85 km daily commute by bus or road sucks, anywhere. Few would take it. I heartily agree. And sit next to a cow orker who faces somewhat worse - 100 km daily commute, with something like 2 and a half hour trip each way. 5 hours travelling, 7 hours at work.

There are few such people. But another cow orker used to commute weekly, 190 km. And THAT is what I also did, for three years. Home to university. Occasionally, I stayed for weekend, mostly not - and never, in three years, two weekends at university.
One way trip was 2 and a half hours in bus or train, and 20 minutes brisk walk at either end, station to home or station to dormitory.

Why would people move so far?
Why do many Chinese move thousands of km, from villages in inland China to coastal cities AND, vitally, back?
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Old September 15th, 2015, 02:16 PM   #10003
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In reply to Hkskyline's argument.

So based on your logic China should have not planned and built any expressways, railways and urban transit systems because your average folk in China used to live on $5 a month and rely on the pig and a chicken they kept for food and therefore would not be interested in traveling anywhere beyond their village?

For Christ's sake, CRH project must have been the stupidest idea ever. After all nobody was going to use it back in the late 90's or even 2000's.

It's baffling to find out that somebody can actually go by such logic.

Last edited by Pansori; September 15th, 2015 at 02:23 PM.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 03:49 PM   #10004
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With the Jingjinji plans, including distributing functionality (not a good idea if the goal is to reduce traffic if you ask me, but the government didn't), medium-range/speed transport will be necessary in the Beijing region.

Quote:
It is the first time the central authorities have released the three governments' strategic positions in the integrated growth of the trilateral region, giving them clear roles for better coordination.
Beijing will become the national center for politics, culture, international exchanges and scientific and technical innovation.
Tianjin will be a national research and development base for advanced manufacturing, a hub for international shipping in North China, a zone for financial innovation and services, and a pilot zone for economic reform.
Hebei province will be an important national base for trade and logistics, a pilot zone for industrial transformation and upgrading, a demonstration area for modern urbanization and urban-rural integration, and an ecological buffer zone, the document said.
Fortunately the government seems to agree. China sets sights on developing mid-speed inter-city railway network

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCMP
The regulation, which will take effect from March 1, defines inter-city rail services as those that provide fast and frequent trains between two neighbouring cities, or groups of cities, the Beijing Times reported.

The entire journey will be between 50km and 200km, the newspaper said, citing the National Railway Administration.

The distance between two stations may vary from 5km to 20km, with each train designed to have a maximum of eight carriages, the regulation states.

An official from the administration was quoted as saying that inter-city rail services would focus on high-frequency services – just as city public bus transport is required to do. [...]

Beijing is also following suit after an inter-city railway investment company in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region – commonly known as Jingjinji – was established at the end of last month, with registered capital of 10 billion yuan (about HK$12.6 billion).

The Beijing municipal transport committee previously said a soon-to-be-released plan for Beijing’s traffic routes up to 2030 would include 9,500km of railway lines connecting major cities in the Jingjinji area, with the longest journey taking one hour.

Experts have said China has the world’s greatest percentage of subway in its existing rail transit system, but its inter-city railways are underdeveloped.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 05:40 PM   #10005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
In reply to Hkskyline's argument.

So based on your logic China should have not planned and built any expressways, railways and urban transit systems because your average folk in China used to live on $5 a month and rely on the pig and a chicken they kept for food and therefore would not be interested in traveling anywhere beyond their village?

For Christ's sake, CRH project must have been the stupidest idea ever. After all nobody was going to use it back in the late 90's or even 2000's.

It's baffling to find out that somebody can actually go by such logic.
Cargo needs to move. Highways also move people during Chinese New Year (migrants and domestic tourists), the middle class and above who can afford regular domestic tourism at other times.

The issue at hand is whether commuter rail or long-distance commutes using the CRH is feasible and why China hasn't developed such to mimick European cities. It doesn't mean people don't travel between cities period.

Urban transit systems need to add density and redundancy so people within the cities can move around cheaply and efficiently. Significantly expanding intercity cheap rail networks or expecting CRH to be adopted for mass commutes are stupid uses of money. People don't commute long distances in China like in the West. The infrastructure needs to cater for these movement patterns.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 05:44 PM   #10006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Why would people move so far?
Why do many Chinese move thousands of km, from villages in inland China to coastal cities AND, vitally, back?
Notice people move far but not commute between cities. Rural migrants escape poverty by moving to the large cities along the wealthier east coast. It would be silly to migrate to Suzhou and commute into Shanghai. That's why intercity commutes are not common.

For the middle class, the rental difference between neighbouring cities is minimal given the low rent base in China when you factor in the incremental significant increase in transport cost.

People do move around in China, but they will tend to stick to living in the city where they work. That's why the urban mass transit system is crucial, and rightly so, being expanded across many cities.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 06:48 PM   #10007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Cargo needs to move. Highways also move people during Chinese New Year (migrants and domestic tourists), the middle class and above who can afford regular domestic tourism at other times.

The issue at hand is whether commuter rail or long-distance commutes using the CRH is feasible and why China hasn't developed such to mimick European cities. It doesn't mean people don't travel between cities period.

Urban transit systems need to add density and redundancy so people within the cities can move around cheaply and efficiently. Significantly expanding intercity cheap rail networks or expecting CRH to be adopted for mass commutes are stupid uses of money. People don't commute long distances in China like in the West. The infrastructure needs to cater for these movement patterns.
Who was talking of CRH commutes? You're mixing something up. We're talking regular 100-160km/h trains which you'll find in London, Paris or Tokyo.

Shanghai, Beijing or the PRD desperately need transport like Paris RER or U/C London Crossrail.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 06:53 PM   #10008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
Who was talking of CRH commutes? You're mixing something up. We're talking regular 100-160km/h trains which you'll find in London, Paris or Tokyo.

Shanghai, Beijing or the PRD desperately need transport like Paris RER or U/C London Crossrail.
CRH runs trains at the 150 km/h range. Guangzhou East to Shenzhen is one good example - they're now classed as C trains.

Why do cities with extensive subway networks and concentrated populations where people don't commute far need long-distance commuter rail networks?
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Old September 15th, 2015, 07:46 PM   #10009
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In Japan's case, a lot of what people refer to as "commuter rail" is what would be considered as metro/rapid transit. Also the lines are blurred further because a lot of Japan's subway lines connect to "commuter rail" lines and go out even further "through servicing". So basically nowadays Tokyo and Osaka don't even have distinctions anymore, it's more like "after this station everything else is more spaced out and runs kind of as commuter line" rather than "this system/company is commuter rail, this one is metro".

As for the function of commuter rail...basically property prices are cheaper further out so millions of people live in such areas and need to have relatively faster commutes into downtown. Why wouldn't China have demand for such services? I agree with Pansori here. Maybe at the moment with the farmer migrants it's not so heavily needed but it is the natural growth of cities that they will be needed...and from my travels in China I don't see why it wouldn't be needed now, rail density can be increased several fold still.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 07:57 PM   #10010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
Good point about RER. I was going to give this example. A city the size of Shanghai or Beijing absolutely needs this kind of transportation. How long does it take to cross the city on a normal metro line? How crowded does it get?
In Shenzhen my experience is that it can take up to 1,5 hours and dozens of halts to go from the central areas to districts further out, such as Longcheng Square. And usually you need to stand all the way.

They really need some express services. But AFAIK the under-construction Intercity railway from Guangzhou/Dongguan will be an express metro (line 11) within Shenzhen. So apparently it will be a RER-like service. Which is a good development, I think.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 07:58 PM   #10011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ukiyo View Post
In Japan's case, a lot of what people refer to as "commuter rail" is what would be considered as metro/rapid transit. Also the lines are blurred further because a lot of Japan's subway lines connect to "commuter rail" lines and go out even further "through servicing". So basically nowadays Tokyo and Osaka don't even have distinctions anymore, it's more like "after this station everything else is more spaced out and runs kind of as commuter line" rather than "this system/company is commuter rail, this one is metro".

As for the function of commuter rail...basically property prices are cheaper further out so millions of people live in such areas and need to have relatively faster commutes into downtown. Why wouldn't China have demand for such services? I agree with Pansori here. Maybe at the moment with the farmer migrants it's not so heavily needed but it is the natural growth of cities that they will be needed...and from my travels in China I don't see why it wouldn't be needed now, rail density can be increased several fold still.
The longest average commute in the country is 19km in Beijing, a relatively short distance. Chinese cities are concentrated. The inner cities continue to be very dense. Population growth is driven by the migrant population, who live in residential quarters provided by the company and these people cannot afford their own housing anyway. So it is not even a valid point to think sprawling is the Chinese urban planning solution, let alone the need for longer distance "commuter" rail.

Inner city redevelopments are very popular in Chinese cities. I'm sure SSC lurkers remember threads on existing residents being inappropriately kicked out of their homes as developers move in to redevelop their land using legal and illegal means.

In the Beijing context, being relocated to the 5th ring road is not something to be proud of, unlike in the US, where living far from the city centre has benefits of increased space, safety, and privacy. But then, the subway reaches the outskirts already so I don't understand why some people think the rail network is insufficient.

You need to think carefully who would want to move out far and require expensive commutes on express trains. The migrants? Obviously not. The poorer classes who have historically received government housing? Unlikely. The rich? They can easily afford rentals in the city centre anyway. Add to that the prohibitive costs of a longer commute that eats into a major proportion of the average urban wage, and you will see why the longest average commute in the country is only 19km.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 08:16 PM   #10012
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Here we reached #10000 post of the thread Thanks for posting and continue to enjoy everybody.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 08:27 PM   #10013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
The longest average commute in the country is 19km in Beijing, a relatively short distance. Chinese cities are concentrated. The inner cities continue to be very dense. Population growth is driven by the migrant population, who live in residential quarters provided by the company and these people cannot afford their own housing anyway. So it is not even a valid point to think sprawling is the Chinese urban planning solution, let alone the need for longer distance "commuter" rail.

Inner city redevelopments are very popular in Chinese cities. I'm sure SSC lurkers remember threads on existing residents being inappropriately kicked out of their homes as developers move in to redevelop their land using legal and illegal means.

In the Beijing context, being relocated to the 5th ring road is not something to be proud of, unlike in the US, where living far from the city centre has benefits of increased space, safety, and privacy. But then, the subway reaches the outskirts already so I don't understand why some people think the rail network is insufficient.

You need to think carefully who would want to move out far and require expensive commutes on express trains. The migrants? Obviously not. The poorer classes who have historically received government housing? Unlikely. The rich? They can easily afford rentals in the city centre anyway. Add to that the prohibitive costs of a longer commute that eats into a major proportion of the average urban wage, and you will see why the longest average commute in the country is only 19km.
While I understand your post it doesn't really address what we are talking about as cities grow they will grow outwards as well, whether it is dense like Japan or suburbs like the US it simply happens. Once the distance is great enough from point A to point B (and I am sure several areas of chinese cities have already met this) it makes sense to have a hybrid system like Japan.

Also "sprawling" in a way IS the chinese governments wish, once we are talking of the super cities and linking them with infrastructure...that linking will be commuter rail. High speed rail just doesn't make sense for such short distances or paying the ticket costs, we are talking about the communities that will link the core cities.

Remember these terms don't mean much though, "commuter rail" in Japan basically doesn't even mean that much since again a lot of the lines in Tokyo/Osaka would be considered as a metro anywhere else...China will probably be something similar. Maybe some of the metro lines will have more and more of a "commuter rail" functions.
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Old September 15th, 2015, 10:21 PM   #10014
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Originally Posted by :jax: View Post
With the Jingjinji plans, including distributing functionality (not a good idea if the goal is to reduce traffic if you ask me, but the government didn't), medium-range/speed transport will be necessary in the Beijing region.

Fortunately the government seems to agree. China sets sights on developing mid-speed inter-city railway network
I see that there is 1 commuter train from Beijing towards Tianjin. Train 6451, Beijing-Yangcun.
7 intermediate stops on 109 km.
And trip time 2:27.
Well, I´m looking at a nearby rail line. 112 km long, built in 1876. Single track, unelectrified. Top speed 120 km/h
9 intermediate stops - and the trip time for DMU-s is 1:27 to 1:31.
4 such all-stops trains daily. Plus expresses. Which make 2 stops, trip time 1:08 to 1:14.

How many stations are needed in 33 km between Beijing and Huangcun?
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Old September 16th, 2015, 12:07 AM   #10015
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
CRH runs trains at the 150 km/h range. Guangzhou East to Shenzhen is one good example - they're now classed as C trains.

Why do cities with extensive subway networks and concentrated populations where people don't commute far need long-distance commuter rail networks?
Do RER or Crossrail count as 'long distance commuter rail networks'? Their main purpose is to provide the city and its urban area with fast express service with regular metro lines being used to get to the final destination with least amount of time used. Like a feeder service in a sense.

Also take London (somewhat outdated) urban rail system as an example. Much of it actually duplicate metro (tube) lines and routes. The difference is they usually go much faster on average and allow for faster travel around the city due to less stops on the way. Within the city AND to the outskirts.

Commuter rail not just extends to suburbs or satellite towns but also provides a much faster express service within the city itself. Again, Paris RER is by far the best example of that. German S-Bahns have this function too for most part. Beijing and Shanghai desperately need this kind of transport for one simple rerason: with fast expansion and urbanization their metro systems are getting hopelessly inadequate: they are overcrowded and take too much time to get anywhere. Especially Beijing. There is only one solution to this: high-capacity, high-frequency commuter rail system like Paris RER.

Quote:
where people don't commute
Because they physically cannot? 30 years ago you could have written that Chinese don't need expressways and roads because they don't drive. They really didn't... because there were no adequate roads and al;most noone owned a car. You do realize how absurd it sounds?

Last edited by Pansori; September 16th, 2015 at 12:17 AM.
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Old September 16th, 2015, 12:22 AM   #10016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by :jax: View Post
With the Jingjinji plans, including distributing functionality (not a good idea if the goal is to reduce traffic if you ask me, but the government didn't), medium-range/speed transport will be necessary in the Beijing region.

Fortunately the government seems to agree.
Yes, what are the plans?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCMP
The regulation, which will take effect from March 1, defines inter-city rail services as those that provide fast and frequent trains between two neighbouring cities, or groups of cities, the Beijing Times reported.

The entire journey will be between 50km and 200km, the newspaper said, citing the National Railway Administration.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCMP
plan for Beijing’s traffic routes up to 2030 would include 9,500km of railway lines connecting major cities in the Jingjinji area, with the longest journey taking one hour.
But
Quote:
Originally Posted by Li Hui, on image
27 new inter-city railways
27 railways and 9500 km means average 352 km each, by my reckoning. Rather outside the range of 50...200 km.
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Old September 16th, 2015, 09:03 AM   #10017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ukiyo View Post
While I understand your post it doesn't really address what we are talking about as cities grow they will grow outwards as well, whether it is dense like Japan or suburbs like the US it simply happens. Once the distance is great enough from point A to point B (and I am sure several areas of chinese cities have already met this) it makes sense to have a hybrid system like Japan.

Also "sprawling" in a way IS the chinese governments wish, once we are talking of the super cities and linking them with infrastructure...that linking will be commuter rail. High speed rail just doesn't make sense for such short distances or paying the ticket costs, we are talking about the communities that will link the core cities.

Remember these terms don't mean much though, "commuter rail" in Japan basically doesn't even mean that much since again a lot of the lines in Tokyo/Osaka would be considered as a metro anywhere else...China will probably be something similar. Maybe some of the metro lines will have more and more of a "commuter rail" functions.
If we are talking about mass transit connectivity, then the subway network expansions already address the point. Those living in the outskirts already get expanded subway connectivity so I don't think there is an issue at all.
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Old September 16th, 2015, 09:20 AM   #10018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
Do RER or Crossrail count as 'long distance commuter rail networks'? Their main purpose is to provide the city and its urban area with fast express service with regular metro lines being used to get to the final destination with least amount of time used. Like a feeder service in a sense.

Also take London (somewhat outdated) urban rail system as an example. Much of it actually duplicate metro (tube) lines and routes. The difference is they usually go much faster on average and allow for faster travel around the city due to less stops on the way. Within the city AND to the outskirts.

Commuter rail not just extends to suburbs or satellite towns but also provides a much faster express service within the city itself. Again, Paris RER is by far the best example of that. German S-Bahns have this function too for most part. Beijing and Shanghai desperately need this kind of transport for one simple rerason: with fast expansion and urbanization their metro systems are getting hopelessly inadequate: they are overcrowded and take too much time to get anywhere. Especially Beijing. There is only one solution to this: high-capacity, high-frequency commuter rail system like Paris RER.

Because they physically cannot? 30 years ago you could have written that Chinese don't need expressways and roads because they don't drive. They really didn't... because there were no adequate roads and al;most noone owned a car. You do realize how absurd it sounds?
So who would be taking these commuter trains? In the West, incomes are high enough to sustain premium services, such as long-distance express rail, and commuters can still save even if they live far and pay more to get around. But as I have already pointed out, long distance commutes are expensive even using the cheap K trains, and are not affordable as a proportion to the average urban income and home rental prices. Perhaps you can give an analysis why my numbers are not relevant.

China is good at building infrastructure in a short period of time. The best focus now is to improve connectivity within the city, where people actually live, rather than build a line to nowhere that will sit deserted and unused for who knows how many years.
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Old September 16th, 2015, 09:58 AM   #10019
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What we see in China today are large migrant populations that don't travel around the city for fun because their basic necessities are all taken care of by their employer and they save as much as they can for their impoverished families far away. This type of demographic dictates how the transport infrastructure is planned and built.
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
You have to understand who is riding the buses between cities - middle class folks who find CRH too expensive, or actual migrants moving around because they changed jobs, needed to make a home visit, etc.
You are giving two groups of people who do travel - "middle class", and "actual migrants", who admittedly do not travel each day, but do travel at least once a year, and often more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Keep in mind buses have a big discount compared to the CRH trains so even the wealthier folks will be attracted to them. Shenzhen North to Guangzhou South costs about 80 RMB, which is a substantial chunk of money for the upper middle class that makes more than the 4000 RMB urban worker average. Even for me, taking the bus from Hong Kong to Guangzhou costs less, guarantees me a seat, and is less of a hassle than taking the CRH out of Shenzhen.
And that is the problem.
C train second class costs 79 yuan 5 jiao
On some K trains, like K586, hard seat Shenzhen West-Guangzhou (154 km) costs just 24 yuan 5 jiao.
But there are few such K trains, they are slow (K586 takes 2:05) and serve few stations in Shenzhen.
What DO buses cost Shenzhen to Guangzhou?
What China needs, first, is trains that serve enough stations, at attractive enough prices and speed, to get people who do travel to use train rather than bus.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Keep in mind not everyone works in Futian and Lowu. For a city of 10+ million, even with the average 40% migrant population, the rest of the population is sizeable
40 %?
The population of Shenzhen back in the opening of Special Economic Zone was 300 000.
Perhaps 4 % of people in Shenzhen are locals - descendants of people who lived in Shenzhen back in 1978.
Everyone else, 96 %, are migrants.
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Old September 16th, 2015, 10:10 AM   #10020
hkskyline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
You are giving two groups of people who do travel - "middle class", and "actual migrants", who admittedly do not travel each day, but do travel at least once a year, and often more.

And that is the problem.
C train second class costs 79 yuan 5 jiao
On some K trains, like K586, hard seat Shenzhen West-Guangzhou (154 km) costs just 24 yuan 5 jiao.
But there are few such K trains, they are slow (K586 takes 2:05) and serve few stations in Shenzhen.
What DO buses cost Shenzhen to Guangzhou?
What China needs, first, is trains that serve enough stations, at attractive enough prices and speed, to get people who do travel to use train rather than bus.

40 %?
The population of Shenzhen back in the opening of Special Economic Zone was 300 000.
Perhaps 4 % of people in Shenzhen are locals - descendants of people who lived in Shenzhen back in 1978.
Everyone else, 96 %, are migrants.
I would even argue 24.5 RMB per way is too expensive for the average commuter. This amounts to 980 RMB a month, almost 25% of the average urban worker's wage (4000 RMB).

The bus costs about 60 RMB, roughly 25% cheaper than the CRH ticket.

From the source I provided earlier (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchin...t_18781005.htm), average rents in Guangzhou and Shenzhen are RMB 42 and RMB 52 per sq m per month respectively. Hence, a modest 50 sq m unit would only cost 2100-2600 RMB a month. So do you save money commuting between the two and paying, in addition, 40% of the monthly rental on transport?

Clearly, the numbers don't add up. It doesn't make sense to make intercity commutes for the average urbanite in China's wealthy cities.
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