Passengers left stranded

WITH trains arriving late and Metro services having ended, hundreds of tired rail travelers were stranded at Hongqiao Railway Station on Wednesday night, exposing inadequate public transport at the newly opened hub. Many passengers, whose trains were delayed due to snow, complained that there was only one night bus line heading downtown at the station, which opened this July. 'It's sad when you are stuck with nowhere to shelter,' said a passenger surnamed Ye. Ye's train from Fujian Province was scheduled to arrive at the station at 10:20pm, but it did not arrive until 11:30pm and the two subway line servicing the station stop operating about 11pm. As many trains suffered delays, at least four services arrived later than 11pm on Wednesday night.

The only night bus route at the station, with intervals of 40 minutes between services, couldn't cope with the number of delayed passengers. Things got worse as some taxi drivers were refusing to take short-distance fares. Those who were unwilling to take expensive taxis to downtown areas had to stay overnight in the waiting lounges until early morning bus and Metro services began. Lu Gaosheng, an official with the local transport management authorities, said it is 'unlikely we can add bus services at the station as a short-term measure.' As to how they would handle another emergency situation such as the one on Wednesday night, Lu said it needs coordination between the station and local transport organizers."

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