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Complaints target congestion on Line 4

    SHENZHEN residents have been complaining online about crowded Metro carriages on Longhua Line, also known as Line 4.

    “In rush hours, all the carriages on the line are much more congested than trains running during the annual Spring Festival travel peak, and crowds in the carriages often lead to stuffy air,” Shenzhen Economic Daily reported, quoting a netizen named Crazy_KaPo.

    Another netizen, who used the name Yuchadechayu, said she’s had to wait 30 minutes to get on a Longhua Line train amid morning crowds.

    The situation is worse when it rains, she said, and many passengers have no choice but to be late for work.

    Many passengers have attributed the congestion to insufficient trains or carriages on the line. There are only four carriages per train on Longhua Line, but trains have six carriages on busy lines including Luobao, Huanzhong, Longgang and Shekou, the paper said.

    Luobao Line carries more than 800,000 passengers a day — the largest number among Shenzhen Metro lines — but its trains run at two-minute intervals that help avoid the congestion seen on Longhua Line.

    The congestion has put line operator MTR (Shenzhen) under fire for poor management and inaccurate estimates of passenger traffic. The operator sometimes restricts passenger numbers to alleviate congestion, the paper said.

    Soon after the line’s official opening in June 2011, MTR (Shenzhen) made a public promise that it would add two more carriages to each train before the end of 2014. That expansion is expected to help reduce the crowds, the paper said.

    The operator also pledged to shorten the intervals between trains and manage the line by calling on experience and standards learned from business in Hong Kong.

    But no obvious improvements have yet been made on the line, which reported more than seven faults within half a year.

    Residents are also calling for a northward extension of the line to facilitate the development of Guangming New Area.

    Head of the new area government Wang Lixin has expressed hope that two Metro stations would be built in Guanlan, where the area’s government is located. But MTR (Shenzhen) has not given a timetable for an extension and only said “the project would be started soon.”

    A northward extension of Longhua Line is not included in the city’s third phase of Metro construction, which consists of five new lines and 95 new stations.

    The third phase of construction is scheduled to be completed in 2016, the paper said. (Gu Xiaofang, Martin Li)

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