High-speed trains out of reach

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

Al­though there have been more high-speed trains this Spring Fes­ti­val, mi­grant work­ers still pre­fer to “fight their way out” on or­di­nary trains, be­cause of the price, says an ar­ti­cle on Peo­ple’s Daily. Ex­cerpts:

High-speed trains are in­deed spa­cious, clean and well-equipped, and they are known for their qual­ity ser­vice and fast speed, but all th­ese ex­cel­lent at­tributes cost pas­sen­gers more money, which is sim­ply not af­ford­able for most mi­grant work­ers. There­fore, the con­struc­tion of high-speed rail­ways is more than just a tech­ni­cal prob­lem as they should meet the de­mand as a whole, es­pe­cially the de­mand of low­in­come con­sumers.

It re­mains to be seen whether there were many un­sold seats on the high-speed trains dur­ing the hol­i­day rush, but the pref­er­ence of mi­grant work­ers for or­di­nary trains shows there is still a de­mand for lower cost trains. Trains are ser­vice fa­cil­ity and de­ci­sion-mak­ers have to take into con­sid­er­a­tion the in­ter­ests of this spe­cific group.

Whether or not such or­di­nary trains should be elim­i­nated should not be de­ter­mined by tech­ni­cal fac­tors only, it is also nec­es­sary to con­sider peo­ple’s in­comes. Only when peo­ple on lower in­comes can af­ford high-speed trains will the time come to elim­i­nate or­di­nary trains. Per­haps in the fu­ture, high­speed trains will be­come the main means of travel dur­ing the Spring Fes­ti­val travel peak.

The de­vel­op­ment of high-speed trains demon­strates both eco­nomic and tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment, but as long as peo­ple can’t af­ford them, it means the or­di­nary trains are nei­ther out of date nor should step down from the stage of his­tory. Only by not ig­nor­ing the de­mand of all con­sumer groups can the in­ter­ests of those at the lower end of so­ci­ety not be com­pro­mised.

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