After declaring public transport prices would rise before the end of this year, the municipal government has kept us on pins and needles regarding the specific date: until now.

Beginning December 28, Beijing Subway prices will start at RMB 3, and rise as distance goes on: first after 6 kilometers, then after every 10 kilometers up to 32, then after every 20.

Commuters using the Yikatong cards (the blue and white transportation cards already in use) will receive discounts if they exceed RMB 100 in fares during any calendar month – 20 percent off for any amount spent between RMB 100 and RMB 150 and 50 percent off any amount spent over RMB 150. After RMB 400 in any spending for the month, the discounts end.

Here's a few sample fares, computed using Baidu maps:

Shuangjing to Zhongguancun (approx 22km on Line 10): RMB 5

Dongzhimen to south gate of Olympic Park (approx 9.9km): RMB 4

Jianguomen to Beijing South Railway Station (approx 9.9km): RMB 4

The theoretical maximum distance we could come up with for a single journey on existing lines was a hair under 72km, from the far southeastern end of the Yizhuang Line to the far northwestern end of the Changping Line, which would make the fare RMB 8 each way.

A theoretical commuter traveling this route, if they haven't killed themselves by the end of the month due to commuting-induced despair, would likely end up averaging less than RMB 6 per ride after discounts (presuming a 20-day work month).

Longer distances will likely be possible with new lines coming to life by the end of this year.

Bus fares are also rising. Also beginning December 28, all bus fares will begin at RMB 2, which includes the first 10 kilometers, with a further RMB 1 fee incurred for each additional five kilometers. These are also cash prices – those using the Yikatong stored value card will receive a 50 percent discount, and students using a card will receive 75 percent off.

More stories by this author here.

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Graphic: The Beijinger

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