2008-06-26 08:19:02 GMT 2008-06-26 16:19:02 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
An employee sits inside the entryway of an express line to the Beijing Capital International Airport at Dongzhimen metro terminal in downtown Beijing June 26, 2008. The new line will officially start running on July 1. (Cnsphoto)
A passenger looks into the entryway of an express line to the Beijing Capital International Airport at Dongzhimen metro terminal in downtown Beijing June 26, 2008. The new line will officially start running on July 1. (Cnsphoto)
BEIJING, June 26 (Xinhua) -- It was announced today that a public hearing is to be held next Wednesday morning to decide the cost of the city's new metro linking the airport with Beijing.
Two options are up for debate, prices of a one-way ticket on the 28.1-kilometer railway from traffic hub Dongzhimen to Beijing Capital International Airport could be 25 yuan (3.7 U.S. dollars) or 30 yuan (4.4 U.S. dollars). But there is a possibility that other options could be discussed.
The hearing will have 25 participants, including ten experts from a database of government and high schools experts, 11 consumer representatives and four from the metro company.
With opinions from the hearing as reference, the final price will be announced several days after the hearing. The line officially opens to the public at the beginning of July, but officials have not given an exact date yet.
"Passengers have to pay 67 yuan by taxi from Dongzhimen to the airport, and a one-way ticket on a shuttle bus costs 16 yuan," said Gao Peng, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Beijing Dongzhimen Airport Express Rail, adding that cost of self-driving is about 42 yuan.
The new metro line, with four stops, takes 16 minutes from Dongzhimen to the airport, about half the time of the shuttle bus journey.
Each train can carry a maximum of 218 passengers, all seated, while the interval between trains will be 10 minutes. It will be shortened to five minutes by 2010.
Construction of the 6.2-billion-yuan metro line started on June1, 2005.
Chinese President Hu Jintao test rode the new line to and from the terminal of Dongzhimen on Wednesday.
"Beijing's metro system has developed quickly by extending its length and coverage. The system has made a great contribution to easing traffic pressure," he said.
Public hearings have become increasingly important in decision-making in China. A regulation released in 2001 stipulated that prices of electricity, railway and flight tickets, etc should be determined after a hearing. China banned free plastic shopping bags on June 1, and a hearing was held on charging for plastic bags in supermarkets.