CHINA DAILY: All high-speed railway stations will allow passengers to use electronic tickets as part of the effort to streamline boarding procedures and improve service amid robust traffic during the upcoming Spring Festival travel rush, the national railway operator said on Thursday.
“So far, high-speed and intercity railway stations nationwide have adopted the e-ticket service, in which passengers don’t need printed tickets anymore,” Li Wenxin, deputy general manager of China State Railway Co, said at a news conference organized by the State Council Information Office.
According to the company, as of Thursday, passengers can check in without paper tickets at 1,020 railway stations across the country.
The service was launched on the high-speed rail line in Hainan province in November 2018, and another four high-speed intercity railways have piloted it from last July.
With the service, when entering the station and checking in, passengers only need to swipe an identification card－a second-generation ID card for Chinese mainland residents, a permanent residence permit for foreign “green card” holders, or a mainland residence permit or travel permit for Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan residents－at the self-service counters.
Those whose card or permit cannot be read by the machines are also able to check in by scanning an electronic or printed QR code.
“It’s very fast and convenient. Instead of collecting tickets at the station, I just need to bring my ID card or scan QR codes,” said Zhang Pengbo, 28, who works for a real estate company in Zhengzhou, Henan province.
“With the new method reducing the crowds in front of ticket booths and ticket checking machines, it greatly enhances the travel efficiency and improves the travel experience for people who travel a lot by train,” he added.
With two weeks until Lunar New Year, which falls on Jan 25, e-tickets will also help the rail network better cope with surging traffic during the travel rush as families reunite for the traditional holiday, said Zhao Jian, a professor of rail transportation economics at Beijing Jiaotong University.
“With all high-speed railway stations adopting the paperless system during this year’s travel rush, it will further ease the traffic burden and increase travel efficiency,” said Zhao.
The nation’s railway system is expected to handle about 440 million passenger trips during this year’s 40-day-long Spring Festival travel rush, which will start on Jan 10 and last until Feb 18, an 8 percent year-on-year increase, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.
Zhang Zhiqian, a researcher at the China Academy of Rail Sciences, said that as part of the company’s efforts to improve passengers’ travel experience, e-tickets will not only be available at high-speed train stations but will be further promoted at train stations nationwide.
The company confirmed at its annual work conference that it will start piloting the application of digital ticketing this year on a number of regular railway lines.
“We will step up efforts to carry out research on the facial-recognition check-in system, as well as electronic receipts to make train trips more convenient for people,” he added.