Xiangnan Liu

My name is Xiangnan  Liu. I am a junior undergraduate student in Hainan Normal University. I am an English major student. Now I am the commissary in charge of studies.


Public transportation provision in the UK and China: Hardware facility and humanistic service

The quality of public transportation provision in the UK are very different than that in China because of the different geography, population, culture and policy. In this essay, I will compare the public transport in the UK and China from both hardware facility and humanistic service, from which we can get a clear idea about the strengths and weaknesses of both. We can also get a conclusion about how UK and China can learn from each other to improve their public transportation provision without prejudice to their own national conditions.


The cost of public transportation in China is reasonable for most ordinary Chinese people, So Chinese people don’t worry about whether to take public transportation or not because of the cost. The main means of public transportation in China include underground, train, plane, bus, taxi, etc. In recent years, new ways of getting around have also been introduced, such as bicycle sharing and carpooling. These new mode of transportation further reduces the cost of travel for the public. To lower the cost, Chinese cities tend to acquire low‐cost, single‐gear bikeshare equipment in large numbers from China’s highly competitive manufacturing industry. (Gavin Fynn Lohry and Alice Yiu,2015) From what they said, we can see that China is trying to save the cost of transportation, so as to reduce the cost of traveling for the people. As a first-tier city in China, Guangzhou has a high level of per capita consumption, but the cost of public transportation is not high. Taking Guangzhou underground as an example, the ticket price of Guangzhou underground is calculated according to the mileage. With the opening of all lines of Guangzhou metro, the maximum ticket price of Guangzhou metro will be 22 yuan after December 28, 2018. It means that even at the highest exchange rate, it is less than 3 pounds. On August 31, 2019, the latest ticket table of Guangzhou underground shows that the price of multiple sections is reduced, at most 9 yuan cheaper.

In the same way, the cost of transport in the UK is not satisfactory to the native British. In fact, train fares in the UK are a huge burden on the vast majority of the population. Some British people would rather buy a plane ticket to travel to several places than buy a direct train ticket. From BBC news on 30th June, 2017, a student called Joe Furness, discovered it was cheaper to fly from Newcastle to London via Menorca than to take the train. He said it showed train travel in the UK had become “ridiculously expensive”. Form THE WEEK, an UK news in January2, 2019, Campaign group Railfuture described the price hikes as “yet another kick in the wallet”, while RMT national president Michelle Rodgers noted that they follow an “abysmal” year for train passengers. We’ll find out the cost of public transportation in the UK is much more than that in China for most citizens.

The advantage of public transport in China lies not only in its price, but also in its speed and wide coverage, which greatly facilitates people’s travel. More and more Chinese are choosing to take high-speed trains because they save time and money, the basis of all these are the coverage of China’s railways throughout the country. China’s HSR network is the largest in the world with over 20,000 km of route in service and extends to 28 of the country’s 33 provinces and regions by September 2016, according to the article Impact of high-speed rail on China’s Big Three airlines(QiongZhang, HangjunYang, QiangWang,2017). With the development of economy, China’s railway develops more rapidly China’s state railway corporation released its report card on railway construction in 2019 on December 23, 2019. It is expected that by the end of 2019, China will have 139,000 kilometers of railway in operation, with 35,000 kilometers of high-speed railway, ranking first in the world.

In Britain, it is very slow to build public transport infrastructure such as high-speed rail. Britain’s national conditions, local policies in different parts of the country, and the rights of the British people all account for the slow pace of railway construction. There is a famous case to explain it, the HS2 project. High Speed 2 (HS2) is a high-speed rail project approved by the British government on January 8, 2012, with an initial investment of 32 billion pounds. It is expected to be fully operational by 2033. It took a long time just to discuss whether to build it or not. Even worse, there are lots of citizens protest against the HS2 project because it effects their living environment. According to BBC news, People living in Crofton, Wakefield, say the village will be destroyed by high-speed trains passing through. So we can see from this example that the efficiency of transportation facilities in the UK is lower than that in China.

The above two points are about the comparison of transportation hardware facilities, and the following is about the humanized transportation services in the UK and China. In this regard, the UK does better than China. London’s twin buses are quite spacious, which can carry 160 passengers. Passengers can get on the bus from the front and rear of the bus at the same time. Stepping on the bus, there is a blue newspaper box on left hand side. Passengers can get the newspaper of the day for free. There are also special places for people with disabilities and baby carriages . The buses in China are also designed for special needs, but didn’t as well as that in the UK. Because of the large number of people in China, there is not that much room for parents with strollers or people with wheelchairs. In a word, British people are more comfortable and convenient than Chinese people when they take the bus, especially for special groups.


Generally speaking, the hardware facilities in China are better than that in the UK, but the humanized bus service in Britain is better than that in China. Both Britain and China can improve its transportation through these two aspects in combination with their own national conditions, so as to make the public transportation system more satisfactory.


https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1477-8947.12063. 2020. Bikeshare In China As A Public Service: Comparing Government‐Run And Public‐Private Partnership Operation Models.

Henan.china.com.cn. 2020. 最多便宜9元 广州地铁多区间降价 广州地铁最新票价_中部纵览. [online] Available at: <http://henan.china.com.cn/finance/2019-08/31/content_40880545.htm> [Accessed 10 April 2020].

BBC News. 2020. Newcastle To London ‘Cheaper’ Via Menorca. [online] Available at: <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-40457453> [Accessed 10 April 2020].

The Week UK. 2020. Why Are UK Rail Fares So Expensive?. [online] Available at: <https://www.theweek.co.uk/98201/why-are-uk-trains-so-expensive> [Accessed 10 April 2020].

News.dayoo.com. 2020. 2019年铁路建设成绩单公布:中国高铁突破3.5万公里_广州日报大洋网. [online] Available at: <https://news.dayoo.com/finance/201912/24/139999_52991439.htm> [Accessed 10 April 2020].

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0965856415303190. 2020. Impact Of High-Speed Rail On China’S Big Three Airlines.

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