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Changes to address airport’s commuting woes

Han Ximin

ximhan@126.com

TO shorten the time that arriving passengers have to wait for taxis at Shenzhen International Airport, the city’s transportation commission will open three waiting areas, each with three waiting entrances, at the airport’s Ground Transportation Center (GTC).

The new layout will enable 21 taxis to pick up passengers at the same time and should greatly shorten wait times, the commission said Sunday.

Thursday was the first day of operations at the airport’s new terminal, which handles about 90,000 passengers a day. The number of passengers taking taxis has increased because of the obscure and inconvenient location of the airport shuttle route 330 and the need to take a free, connecting bus to access Metro trains, airport authorities said. On Friday, the commission began organizing 2,000 taxis to service the airport and pick up arriving passengers every day.

Statistics show the taxi turnover at the new terminal has reached 6,858 a day, a 50-percent increase from taxi use at the airport’s former terminals A and B.

In the future, transportation officials plan to add more buses on route 330 and open some more airport express buses that connect the GTC with the rest of the city.

Five buses will be added to the free, connecting route M416 and 10 buses to route 417 for passengers going to the airport from the Luobao Line’s Hourui and Airport East stations, respectively. Departure intervals for the two routes will be further shortened, as well.

The M416 buses shuttling between Hourui Station and the GTC drew complaints from travelers because of long wait times and overcrowding during the first weekend of operations at the airport’s new terminal.

This was partly caused by the huge number of sightseers who came to see at the state-of-the-art new terminal. According to media reports, more than 10,000 sightseers a day visited the new terminal over the weekend.

M416’s operator, Shenzhen West Bus Group, shortened the intervals between departures over the weekend to 2-3 minutes from the original five, but queues up to 200 meters long remained frequent at Hourui Station’s bus stop.

The free shuttle service initially used 15 buses. It operates from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily.

Some travelers arriving at the airport from other destinations also raised complaints over the weekend, saying it took too long to get a taxi because there was only one entrance for the waiting area, even though three lanes were open to taxis there. Some travelers visiting Shenzhen for the first time couldn’t figure out the difference between green and red taxis because the airport’s explanatory signs were too small and unspecific.

Speak your mind

EXPAT passengers arriving at or departing from Shenzhen International Airport can submit suggestions for how to address problems relating to the operation of the new terminal by emailing szdaily@126.com.

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