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Traveling via the subway is quicker than by bus, as there is no underground traffic jam. Most foreigners prefer this vehicle, as all the signs are in both Chinese and English. The loudspeaker will tell you in English the name of the next stop and which stop is the interchanging stop h as well.
How to Buy a Ticket and How Much does it Cost
It costs RMB 3 to go from one subway station to any other subway station on line 1 and line 2. The tickets are sold underground, right close to the entrance of the subway.
Sometimes there would be a long queue in front of the ticket office. So if you stay in Beijing for more than a few days, you can buy a Beijing transportation card. It¡¯s official name is ¡®one card through city¡¯. This card can be used on subway and buses in Beijing.
The deposit of the card is RMB 20, you can get it from some of the subway ticket offices. Not all the offices sell the cards, only some big stops, likewise, Xizhimen, Fuxingmen, Dawanglu, Tiananmen and Xidan. The card is refundable. So is the credit left on your card. But if you have more than RMB100 credit, you can get only 90% back, while if less than RMB 100, you can get them all.
How to Enter the Subway
When you enter the subway station, you have to show your ticket to the tickets lady, so don¡¯t put it deeply into your handbag, pocket or throw it away. If you have a transportation card, don¡¯t forget to scan your card.
The card is very sensitive to the scanner, you don¡¯t need to take it out from your purse. When it beeps, the screen on the scanner will show how much left on your card and how much it took away from your card. When the ticket lady hears the beep, she will let you go down to the platform.
When you get down, you¡¯ll find two tracks. There are signs telling you what the next stop is in from of the tracks. If you are not sure which is the right way to go, you can check the list of the stops showing on each side of the platform. It also gives you an idea of how long it will take to go to your destination. There would be a train coming from each side every 3 or 5 minutes.
Interchanging Between Line 1 and Line 2
Line 1 is a horizontal line. It goes through the city from Sihuidong, which is in the east, to Pingguoyuan, which is in the west. The stops of Tiananmen, Xidan and Wangfujing are on the horizontal line.
Line 2 is a loop line which follows the inner ring road. It¡¯s very convenient to go to Beijing Railway Station from the loop line.
It¡¯s quick and easy to transfer between line 1 and line 2. There are always two ways to transfer, as there are two interchanging stops. One is Jianguomen, the other is Fuxingmen.
But normally, one way is quicker than another. While sometimes, it takes you almost the same time to go by two different ways. For example, if you want to go from Guomao to Xizhimen. You can go onto the horizontal line at Guomao station, and change at either Jianguomen or Fuxingmen to the loop line. Either way takes you about 30 minutes.
If you are not sure which interchange stop would be the better one to transfer, check the map which is in the middle of the platform.
The New Lines: Ba-tong Line and Line 13
Due to the bad traffic and the big population in Beijing, two new lines have been built, and some lines are still being built. Line 13 and Ba-tong line are the ones have been done.
You can change to line 13 at either Xizhimen or Dongzhimen subway station. Line 13, together with line 2, makes a circle. This line is a further extension to the north part of the city. Ba-tong line extends the horizontal line to the east. It overlaps line 1 from Sihui to Sihuidong and then extends to Tutiao.
So if you want to transfer between line 1 and Ba-tong line, you can either transfer at the stop of Sihui or Sihuidong. It will cost you RMB 3 to take line 13 and RMB 2 to take Ba-tong line.
If you transfer between line 2 and line 13, it will cost you RMB 5 for the whole subway journey. While it costs RMB 4 to transfer between line 1 and Ba-tong line. The transportation card can still be used on line 13 and Ba-tong line.
There are always several exits for one subway station. It tells you where each exit leads to on the sign in the platform. So please check the sign carefully before you rush out off the subway station.
The busy hours for the subway are 7:30-9:30am and 5:00-7:00pm during the weekdays. You can barely have a seat during these busy hours. It¡¯s even hard to get onto the train. You need to wait in a queue. Remember to look after your purse when it¡¯s very crowded in the subway.
The time table for the subway trains:
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