Sunday, August 27, 2006

Comments, Links

Browsing the Buszone.cn forums, I come across a rumor (from back in July):

用公交一卡通乘公交车“换乘优惠”方案已在制订中,“换乘优惠”计划主要借助公共交通卡系统实施,优惠范围可能为所有空调公交车。在规定时间内,如半小时-2小时内,乘客刷公共交通卡乘车,乘坐第一辆空调车时按原价支付,此后换乘便可享受折扣优惠。这个折扣可能约7.5折。(据媒体消息)

Basically it says that the public transportation administration is planning a discount scheme for people who need to ride multiple air-conditioned buses consecutively using their public transport stored-value card: if you ride one A/C'ed bus, and then change to another A/C'ed bus within a half-an hour of boarding the first one, you get 25% off of the second ride. Since these rides usually cost RMB 2, the second ride will cost RMB 1.5 under the new program. Hope it's true.

I've been following in the paper a story about the use of the stored-value cards in connection to the ferries that cross the Huangpu River. The government is wondering about phasing out the ferries because there are so many more ways to cross the river in the current day than there were in the ferries's heyday: the metro for pedestrians, the tunnels and bridges for cars, and the Bund Tourist Tunnel for... suckers! But there is one thing that needs to cross the river that is missing, and that is bicycles, hence the need for continued ferry service. Also, in order to integrate all public transportation into one system, and because less and less people are using them, the government decided to phase out the monthly passes that people have been able to use on the ferry for the past 48 years, in favor of using the standard public transport stored-value card. Stored-value card users have a frequent-user discount to match the disappearing monthly passes: the first 20 crossing are full-price (5 mao for a single pedestrian), while further crossings are discounted by 20% (4 mao). Pedestrians with bikes pay a bit over 1 yuan.

Oh, and those public transport stored-value card swipe thingies you always see next to the register at McDonalds? There was some sort of deal between McDonalds and web site 智买道 (smartclub.com.cn) where you could swipe your card at McD's to pay for your meal and accrue SmartPoints. Then you could trade SmartPoints for prizes like books, socks, CDs, picture frames, watches, pillows... SmartClub also had/has deals with lots of other retailers, but had a falling out of some sort with McDonalds so don't try and swipe. I wonder why they still haven't removed them.

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