USEUROPEAFRICAASIA中文双语FrançaisHOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELWATCHTHISSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperMOBILEOpinionCartoonsEditorialsOp-EdColumnistsFrom the PressOpinion LineFrom the ReadersBureau ChiefForum TrendsHome / Opinion / Opinion LineSubways risky way to stimulate growth
China Daily | Updated:2017-11-21 07:55A driverless subway train of the Yanfang Line undergoes a test run in Beijing on Nov 15, 2017. [Photo/VCG]THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT and Reform Commission, the countrys top economic planner, has strengthened its supervision of rail transportation projects. Beijing Youth Daily commented on Monday:A number of underground rail projects in North Chinas Inner Mongolia autonomous region have been canceled. Baotou may find it particularly hard to say goodbye to its underground rail project, since it was half way through construction. Many Baotou residents may also find it hard to let go of the idea. They have been waiting for the subway for two years.
Chinese cities have to meet many criteria to gain approval for a subway. These include annual GDP of over 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) and a downtown population of 3 million.
Baotous GDP was over 300 billion yuan last year. However, it is home to just 2.8 million people. Many cities in Inner Mongolia that had proposed plans to build a subway are less wealthy and have smaller populations. Do underground trains really matter to them?
Urban rail transportation can significantly alleviate traffic congestion. This is good for the image of a local government. Subway projects worth over tens of billions of yuan are also a boon to manufacturers. They can also create employment. These are exactly what many local governments need to make their economic figures look better.
The fact that around the world very few subway systems are profitable is apparently not taken into consideration. The huge maintenance costs aside, operating underground rail systems in cities that do not have enough commuters would lead to a colossal waste of public resources.
There are also financial risks. Heavily indebted governments pose a grave danger to social governance. Cities must find less risky ways to stimulate the local economy now that Chinas economy has entered its new normal.Related StoriesRight for feasibility of cities subway plans to be assessedChinas first driverless subway makes test runChina-made trains are ready for the US subwayChina-made subway trains to head for BostonBoston to get Made in China subway trainsSea-view subway complets test operation in XiamenCartoonsFierce competitionThe US gun cultureThe family career balanceThe dangers of online gamesSmart familySingles day discountsMost Viewed in 24 HoursFroum trendsDo foreigners find online shopping fun or pain?Should parents push children to take up extracurricular classes?ColumnistsFijian dialogue process makes Bonn climate talks a successSpending less time on internet could reduce depressionForumFeatured ContributorsChinese home shoppers looking at US tech hubsChinas progress: Could it happen in the US?China Daily Bureau ChiefsChongqing and Chengdu City Cluster on faster trackXi-Ma meeting brings historic opportunitiesStar BloggersThe past 5 years: Chinas global leadershipGetting stared at in China: Cultural curiosity, globalization and racismBACK TO THE TOPHOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELWATCHTHISSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperMOBILECopyright 1995 -var oTime = new Date();
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