Debating Subways in Chinese Cities
Arguing against the trend, Zhang Ming, a professor of political science at the Renmin University of China, says "A city's administration has to undertake proper planning and weigh the pros and cons before deciding to build a subway or even introduce a new line to its existing metro network. Chinese cities, however, seem to be obsessed with the idea of constructing subways. They think subways are a panacea for all traffic ills. In fact, 33 cities have applied for the central government approval to build subways."
Chinese scholar Xue Yong counters that "Most of the people who oppose subway construction do so because of its extremely high cost and the fear that it would run at a loss, which would increase the burden on taxpayers. Let's bear in mind, however, that a subway is not only a profit-making project; its most important function is public service."