For those getting on any high-speed train after June 1st, here’s a list of the new rules for buying tickets from Shanghai Daily:
- Chinese citizens and foreign nationals alike will have to show ID when buying high-speed rail tickets, as part of a new ‘real-name’ purchasing system that aims to curb scalping.
- All train numbers that begin with the letters ‘G’, ‘D’ and ‘C’ will require ID when buying a ticket.
- Since railway employees will be unfamiliar with foreign passports and other forms of identification, delays are foreseen for foreign travelers who’s forms of ID will need ‘longer verification and input time.’
- Foreigners can buy tickets using their passports, temporary residence permits, exit-entry permits or diplomatic certificates as ID.
- Residence permits will be the fastest option for purchasing tickets, since they’re issued by local police and easy to recognize, instead of passports, which vary from country to country.
- Passengers will only be allowed to buy one ticket when showing their ID, with ID verification also needed when boarding trains.
- If foreigners fail to carry their certificates, they will need a letter from their consulate to prove their identities and go to railway police for temporary certificates.
- Automatic ticket machines at railway stations will only recognize Chinese residents’ ID cards.
- Passengers with passports can book tickets via a hotline at 95105105.
Yes, we all agree that this sucks. But despite the Orwellian undertone of the new rules, there are some legitimate problems the new policies seek to redress, with ticket scalping being a prominent example. And even though there might be some leeway for rule-bending, as is often the case in China, it might be best to do as the locals do and say 没办法, to defuse any potential train rage incidents.
By Fan Huang