Long-distance bus operators in Shanghai put more than 60 vehicles on standby on Sunday, using extra buses to transport additional daily passengers south to aid commuters stranded by the train accident on Saturday in Wenzhou, which authorities said late last night had claimed the lives of 35 people and injured at least 192 others.
Twenty-nine trains departing from or passing through the city, mainly toward Wenzhou, were on Sunday affected by the D-train collision and derailing in neighboring Zhejiang Province on the weekend.
But at the press conference on Sunday evening railway authorities said that track repairs had been completed and were expecting trains along the route to run as normal this morning – pending weather conditions.
The railway authority offered full refunds on tickets on Sunday, waiving the 20 percent fee routinely charged to passengers who cancel their trips. To cope with the added demand, Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station opened an additional 10 ticketing windows to serve passengers.
At the transportation hub, Shanghai Hongqiao Long-Distance Bus Station also opened extra temporary ticketing windows and prepared another 50 vehicles on Sunday, most of which were aimed at transporting passengers to Fuzhou and Xiamen.
The Shanghai South Long-Distance Bus Station pitched in, too, organizing some 13 additional vehicles to help with increased demand on the road on Sunday. Both stations said that it will continue to mind the situation and increase daily capacities over the next several days, if needed.
The buses might become a newly favored option for local passengers traveling to nearby places over the next while, it seems, with many commuters expressing hesitation over taking the train after the disastrous event on the weekend, an accident that authorities said was caused by lightning.
“I thought that the high-speed trains were safer than planes,” local resident Wang Yaogen, 52, told the Global Times on Sunday. “But after seeing the D-train accident, I don’t even think that the high-speed G-trains can be that safe.”
A frequent train commuter, Fu Lefeng, 36, meanwhile, admitted on Sunday that the accident has prompted him to put his train plans for today on hold.
“I had a train ticket to get to my meeting in Nanjing tomorrow, but I cancelled it,” he told the Global Times on Sunday. “I was worried about traveling so soon after the accident.”