New meal service for train travelers on the right track
27 highspeed train stations were providing a pilot food-on-demand service to passengers, who can pre-order food from a selection of the outlets at the stations. China Youth Daily commented on Wednesday:
Complaints about the expensive, tasteless meal boxes offered on high-speed trains are not rare, and many passengers prefer to take instant noodles with them or else not eat at all while traveling by train. So the takeouts-on-demand that can be ordered via China Railway Corp’s website or its app two hours before the train is scheduled to arrive at a selected station could be a savior to those hungry travelers who have no interest in the meal boxes.
The pre-order service costs as much as that offered by popular food delivery apps like Eleme, except the delivery fee is around 8 yuan ($1.2), which is slightly higher than in cities.
The service also serves as an apt response to the meal box monopoly.
The budding service is not without flaws, though. Not only will the couriers have to finish the delivery within a few minutes before the trains leave, they will also need to keep track of unexpected delays, which is probably why not all the outlets at the 27 stations are eligible for the pilot program.
And the high delivery charge is questionable. A fair explanation to why it is two times higher than normal delivery fee has not yet been forthcoming. That could raise suspicions that passengers are paying more than they should. The new service has the potential to thrive as long as it provides a quality service at a reasonable price.