Saturday, October 13, 2007
On the Line
A few days ago subway Line 5 opened near our office.
Our neighbourhood no longer has to depend on buses or taxis to get around.
Previously I had to take either bus 62 or 119 to Yong He Gong or Andingmen stations respectively, and as a result was at the mercy of the traffic conditions. It could take a good half hour to get to the subway station.
But now, less than 10 minutes' walk away is a subway station, Hui Xin Xi Jie Nan Kou that links to Line 2 in three stops.
And this brand-spanking new subway is reminiscent of Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway (MTR).
It has glass partitions to prevent people from falling into the tracks; the train is roomy and designed similar to the MTR, including the air cooling system inside; bright lighting; and stops are clearly labelled inside the train and at the platform.
When I took it the other day it wasn't too packed considering it was rush hour after work. But when I transferred to Line 2 THAT train was filled to rafters.
But this new line will change the face of our neighbourhood in time. It's cut at least 15 minutes from my commute from the office to any subway stop. And for some of my colleagues that means 20 minutes more time sleeping in bed.
On top of that subway fares have been cut to 2RMB (US$0.27) from 3RMB (US$0.40).
Unfortunately for me, the new subway line hasn't affected my commute to work as I secretly hoped.
But maybe with more new subway lines starting up in the next few months, perhaps more commuters will see this as a more viable option not only to get to where they want to go, but also help the environment.
I know I'm being idealistic, but I keep hoping.