The Problem With China's High-Speed Rail

Patrick Chovanec, an economics professor in Beijing, explains that the majority of Chinese have more time and less money, so prefer slower, cheaper modes of travel than the new, expensive bullet trains.
January 16, 2011, 11am PST | Tim Halbur
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With high-speed rail expensive to build and operate, the average Chinese migrant worker (the majority of those in the traffic jams around the country) aren't willing to pay the higher fares that would get them off the road, says Chovanec:

"Some 5,149km of high-speed track were put into service last year, making the network stretch to 8,358km, the world's longest But the opening of more fast train services has led to fewer regular trains being available for budget-conscious passengers."

"[An official spokesman for the Ministry of Transportation] said this year the situation had pushed many passengers, who used to ride home by slow trains because of the cheap tickets, onto long-distance buses."

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Published on Friday, January 14, 2011 in Business Insider
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